From Sebastian R. Freiku, Kumasi
In harnessing the potential of the Suame cluster-based industrial centre into a technologically advanced industrial estate in Ghana, the Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organisation (SMIDO), has entered into a partnership project involving the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and a Dutch university to build a car at Suame Magazine this year.
The partnership project is also supported by the Dutch Embassy as a historic initiative to bring Suame Magazine to the attention of the international community.
The project will serve as an international exhibit to promote the technological ingenuity of Suame Magazine to the world.
Suame Magazine is noted for its expertise in vehicle maintenance, and is on record to have manufactured a vehicle some years back.
The Suame Magazine in Kumasi is recognised as the largest artisan engineering cluster in sub-Sahara Africa, and has a working population of over 200,000 and approximately 12,000 workshops, mainly engaged in vehicle repairs and metal works.
A member of the SMIDO-Holland car building partnership project, Melle Smets, who gave details of benefits of the project to both Ghana and Holland, said work on the car manufacturing project was expected to commence in two months.
He said the manufacturing will attract both local and international journalists, after which there would be a test drive through the country, and subsequently exported to Holland.
Mr. Nyaaba-Aweeba Azongo, a Consultant for SMIDO, was hopeful that the collaboration between the Dutch experts and artisans at the Suame Magazine wilould give the needed training and exposure to Suame Magazine, and add value to the skills of the artisans.
Meanwhile, artisans at Suame Magazine are calling for more training to sharpen their skills to enable them meet standards on the international market.
The artisans say they have the needed training, but due to advancement in technology, they would appreciate more technological training, especially in the areas of engineering.