Kenya setting up a National Productivity Centre

Kenya is setting up a National Productivity Council in Nairobi to monitor the implementation of programmes aimed at improving labour issues and standardization.

The Principal Secretary State Department of Labour Dr. Khadijah Kassachoon said with the setting up of the facility, the country would be able to effectively look at the areas in the technology industry that needed upgrading.

She said the council, which is now going to be at the centre of technology exchange between Kenya and Japan, would further focus on productivity.

She said that Kenya was now looking at productivity in the public sector, noting that the gauging is important as people will be able to know how much tax they are paying into the public sector and what they are getting out of it.

The PS was speaking at a Productivity Seminar preceding the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) at a Nairobi hotel on Friday. The two-day conference at Kenyatta International Convention Centre.

She noted that there was a growing public debate and interest amongst Kenyans of a productivity linked wage system for the public sector, which she said was partly driven by the need for accountability in the expenditure of public resources.

The PS said productivity and labour was an area where Kenya and other African countries could benefit from the experiences of Japan and other members of the Asian Productivity Association since Japan had succeeded in productivity in the workplace.

Kassachoon said the Ministry of Labour was already undertaking productivity training in the industry since capital and labour were key in production. She however, urged industries to upgrade their technology.

Speaking at the same event, the director Economic Affairs Department African Union Commission Dr. Rene N’Guettia Kouassi said for Kenya and the rest of African countries to improve productivity, they would be required to correlate all their development policies with the human capital the continent needs.

He noted that with the high number of the young population being unemployed, increase in productivity in small medium enterprises, competitiveness and industrialization would help Kenya and the entire continent to get out of poverty which has been the main parameter hampering economic growth.

Japan’s Director, Technical Cooperation Division, Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau Mr. Michio Daito said Japan would continue to support Sub Saharan projects through dispatching experts and training Human Resource persons in Japan.

Industrial Development and Economic Transformation were key priorities in the African Union 2063 Agenda. Currently African countries are actively seeking to implement policies in collaboration with development partners.

The TICAD VI conference taking place in Nairobi is looking into key policies and institutional arrangements required for industrialization in Africa, focusing on the potential contribution of the KAIZEN approach, as well as other concrete measures and challenges.

KAIZEN a Japanese term meaning ‘Improvement’ refers to a process of innovation in firms involving the entire workforce, and can be applied to areas of customer service and product provision, quality control, new product development, automation and cooperative employer-employee relationships among others.

Productivity and development in the country has heavily been supported by the Japanese government. Since the Japanese government started the Kaizen initiative, industrialists in the country have benefitted enormously from the Human Resource Development training.

Source: Kenya News Agency.