Business News of Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Source: Seth Krampah
By Seth Krampah, Kumasi
The historic partnership initiative between SMIDO and the Dutch-based Foundation, AARDSCHAP FOUNDATION to build a model vehicle as an international exhibit to showcase the ingenuity of Suame Magazine to the international community has taken-off. This follows the arrival of a four -member team led by Melle Smets and Joost van Onna who are Dutch nationals from the Netherlands. In front of the I.T.T.U. located at the heart of Suame Magazine, a car popularly called the “petuo ” owl in local palance is showcased. “This car is at least 50 years old and built in Kumasi. This is the legacy behind the inspiration to build this vehicular model as a process which started in the 1960s. A lot can be learnt and extract idea’s from this car to design a prototype for the African market” a deligate told Business & Fianacial Times. The project already has generated huge national interest in Ghana. At a press briefing in Kumasi to formally inaugurate the project Van Onna said the Dutch Embassy, Dutch media and social, educational and cultural organizations in the Netherlands have taken a keen interest in the success of the project, and he equally hopes the commitment of the Government of Ghana would be secured to build on the current arrangement to make Suame Magazine a global centre of technology in Africa.
A team of international media led by renowned journalist, Tijs van den Boomen, who writes for the major national media in the Netherlands, is scheduled for an official visit in Ghana in February for a coverage of the project proceses. The huge international media coverage of the model vehicle will give Suame Magazine a Global Industrial Profile and will deepen international engagement towards the development of Suame Magazine as this is the aim of SMIDO in the partnership arrangement.
“The model vehicle of which the completion is expected at the end of March or beginning of April will be exhibited in both Ghana and the Nertherlands through exhibition-drives and courtesy calls on prominent personalities to drum support for the wonderful technological asset of Suame Magazine”: Van Onna said. Introducing the team to the press at the SMIDO headoffice in Suame Magazine, the President of SMIDO underscored the fact that the success of this collabotation is to establish synergies by building bridges between conventional and artisanal engineering technologies as a new path for the industrial development of Suame Magazine as a global asset.
According to the Team Leaders, all is set for the project and they were quite impressed with the advances made by SMIDO in getting the project on-course. The two partners have been able to secure the partnership of their home universities to harmonise engineering designs for the vehicle. Aardschap and SMIDO have been able to secure the official participation of The Rietveld Academy from Amsterdam and KNUST from Kumasi in the project.
Against this background, Professor Cynthia Hathaway and three students from the Rietveld Academy have arrived in the country to join their counterparts at the KNUST for the project. The initiative equally seeks to forge partnership between the two universities and SMIDO for exchange programmes.
According to the team, they were impressed with the interest and commitment of the Vice-Chancellor of KNUST in the project and the kind of technical and equipment support they have been offered so far to ensure the successful take-off of the project.
The project is supported by different social, cultural and business organizations in the Netherlands as Aardschap Foundation and SMIDO secured funding from Stimuleringsfonds, Stichting Doen, CBK and Royal Burger Group to embark on the project.