A team of technical experts from the Netherlands is in Ghana to support artisans at the Suame light industrial area in Kumasi to improve their ability in the manufacture of vehicles.
The team from the Dutch-based AARDSCHAP Foundation is led by Melle Smets and Joost van Onna.
The partnership initiative with the Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organization (SMIDO) is to build a model vehicle as an international exhibit to showcase the ingenuity of Suame Magazine to the international community.
The initiative also seeks to forge partnership between the Rietveld Academy of Amsterdam, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and SMIDO for exchange programmes.
The partner universities would harmonise engineering designs for the prototype vehicle.
Speaking at the project launch, Joost van Onna said the Dutch Embassy, Dutch media and other social, educational and cultural organizations in the Netherlands have taken keen interest in the success of the project.
He expects an equal commitment in Ghana to build on the current arrangement to make Suame Magazine a global centre of technology in Africa.
“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 Netherlands through exhibition-drives and courtesy calls on prominent personalities to drum support for the wonderful technological asset of Suame Magazine”, said Van Onna.
Presently on showcase at the I.T.T.U, in the heart of Suame Magazine, is a car popularly called the “petuo” or owl.
“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. We can learn and extract idea’s from this car to design a prototype for the African market”, said Melle Smets.
SMIDO Consultant, Nyaaba Aweeba-Azongo, noted the success of building the prototype vehicle will lead to the establishment of synergies in conventional and artisanal engineering technologies as a new path for the industrial development of Suame Magazine.