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The Ethiopian KAIZEN Institute (EKI) held a seminar on Thursday, December 20, 2012, at the Ethiopia Hotel to create awareness as well as understanding on the implementation of the KAIZEN philosophy in Ethiopia. The seminar that was organized for those in the field of public relations and media aimed to promote and disseminate the concept of KAIZEN to a wider audience.
KAIZEN, which means the philosophy of continuous improvement in working practices and personal efficiency, has been in the spotlight in recent years. This technique and way of thinking was developed in Japan around the time of World War II. In 2009, in response to a request by the Ethiopian Government, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) sent a Japanese KAIZEN consultant team to coordinate with the Ministry of Industry (MoI) for the implementation of a quality and productivity improvement project.
“The trial of the KAIZEN philosophy in Ethiopia has shown great usefulness. Based on that, and knowing what this way of thinking could bring to the table in the area of economic development and seeing that it helps to attain enhanced quality in productivity, the Ethiopian KAIZEN Institute was established,” said Motuma Temesgen, from the office of the Government’s Communications affairs.
After the establishment of the KAIZEN Institute, the next project was to launch the “Capacity Building for Dissemination of Quality and productivity Improvement”, in 2010. The project’s purpose was to establish a system to propagate quality and productivity improvement to private enterprises in a sustainable manner. 
The project has three expected outputs: establishment of the institutional and organizational foundations for Ethiopia’s EKI as the core and leading organization for the dissemination of quality and productivity improvement, establishment of a working system of human resources for the dissemination of quality and productivity improvement to large and medium enterprises and developing a model system for the EKI to foster the Technical Vocational Education and Training Institute (TVET).
“Even though it has only been 7 months since the institute started working, it has already implemented KAIZEN in a number of chosen companies, and since the implementation trial has been successful, another project on capacity building was put in place, which will be starting this month,” said Motuma.
It was also stated that this project will focus on the manufacturing industry, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and higher education institutes, in five regions.