The two Cameroonian companies that won the Africa Kaizen Awards received their trophies during the ceremony held this Wednesday, 18 January 2023, at the Yaounde International Handicrafts Centre, under the chairmanship of the Minister of SMEs, Achille BASSILEKIN III. MAKO INDUSTRIES SA and STRATEX distinguished themselves in the implementation of the KAIZEN method at the national, continental and international levels.

 Among 18 nominated organisations from 9 African countries that competed in this African Kaizen competition, MAKO INDUSTRIES SA from Cameroon won the Kaizen Outstanding Performance Award in the Small and Medium Organisations category. The Yaoundé-based company produces and markets cellulose wadding by-products and kraft paper, such as toilet rolls, napkins and paper backs. Through Kaizen practices in 2020 and 2021, the company reduced machine downtime in the production process by 56.7%, improved supply capacity from 16 to 32 tonnes per month and reduced 1.84 tonnes of defective products and 9.13 tonnes of waste.

 The second winning company competed in the Large Company category and won the Kaizen Achievement Award. It is STRATEX (Société Industrielle de Recherche et Développement de la Plasturgie) which is a manufacturing company based in Douala and specialises in the manufacture of plastic products by injection, extrusion and blow moulding processes. It offers a full range of construction materials, articles for domestic use, packaging, bags, drums and also does industrial subcontracting by manufacturing plastic products used in the food and agriculture sector.

 According to the Japanese concept of Kaizen, which means quality and productivity improvement, the Africa Kaizen Awards are given to organisations that have made significant achievements in this area and can serve as models to be shared across Africa. In 2022, the Kaizen competition took place on 5 October at the Annual African Kaizen Conference (AKAC) co-organised in Cameroon by the Cameroonian government, the African Union Development Agency New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

 This award ceremony was an opportunity for the Minister of SMEs to congratulate the winners and call on other Cameroonian companies to follow suit and adopt the Kaizen method for better results and to boost import-substitution and consumption of Made In Cameroon.