In commemoration of this year’s 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has organized a tour of some of its projects in Ghana. JICA Ghana’s projects span sectors such as education, health, infrastructure, trade and industry, agriculture, tourism, governance and many more. For over 40 years, the Japanese government also dispatches volunteers to Ghana through the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers scheme (JOCV).
The tour was intended to draw special attention to some of the projects that JICA was undertaking in Ghana and in the spirit of the TICAD, begun by the Japanese government in 1993.
Tema Motorway Roundabout Project
Ongoing construction work on the US$ 55.6 million Tema Motorway Roundabout Interchange project is about 60 percent done and could be completed ahead of the June 2020 deadline, the Manager of Shimizu-Dai Nippon JV (the Japanese construction firm undertaking the project), Yujin Uemura, has revealed.
Funded by the Japanese government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Project comprises a 31.2-kilometre national trunk road that is expected to be completed by June 2020.
Taking the key components of the work separately, he said work on the concrete walls of the box culvert underpass was 85 percent completed, while the four pedestrian bridges and road works were also at the levels of 70 and 50 percent, respectively.
Uemura disclosed this when a team from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and journalists toured the facility.
New Ultra-Modern Lab for the Noguchi Institute
The Government of Ghana in partnership with the Japanese government officially commissioned the all-new ultra-modern laboratory at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.
The $20.7 million Noguchi Advanced Research Laboratories was built to strengthen the regional capacity for early detection and effective response to disease outbreaks, including those emanating from highly pathogenic agents such as Ebola, HIV, H1N1 Pandemic Flu, Lassa fever and Yellow Fever.
Few months after the official commissioning, the Lab has started functioning and performing a critical role in the advancement of medical research across the sub-region.
National KAIZEN Project and Nallem Clothing
JICA’s National KAIZEN Project is being implemented in collaboration with the National Board for Small Scale Industries. KAIZEN is a Japanese word which connotes changing for the better. It is a popular business philosophy that teaches the elimination of wastes, better production quality, time management and other essential ingredients for a successful business.
Recently, the African Kaizen Annual Conference in Tunisia was attended by two Ghanaian businesses, Nallem Clothing and Uni-Jay clothing company limited. They are some of the businesses that have adopted the philosophy of KAIZEN and are benefitting immensely from it.
The Conference hosted over 190 participants from 17 African Countries including Ghana and organized by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency.
A key highlight to this year’s conference was the first ever-organized “African Kaizen Awards” ceremony, which allowed business representatives from Africa to compete based on the adoption of the Japanese productivity model- “Kaizen” in their work operations and its impact on the growth of their companies.
Ghana is currently one of the eight African countries that is implementing and promoting “Kaizen” in projects targeting the development of small and medium scale enterprises in the country.
Journalists visited the Nallem Clothing factory and got a first-hand experience of the transformation the KAIZEN philosophy.