Business News of 2013-12-11

Deputy Minister launches SMATI Tripartite Dev't Project

Mr Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry on Tuesday launched the Suame Magazine Automatic Technical Institute (SMATI) Tripartite Development Project to give impetus to the activities of artisans in the country.

The SMATI tripartite partnership comprises the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), the Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organization (SMIDO), and the Government.

Mr Vanderpuye, who formally launched the project in Accra, said policy makers depended on technicians and engineers before coming out with policies, adding that these policies help government to observe how it would meet the country's medium to long-term goals.

The Deputy Minister assured that government would consider the issue of establishing a Tripartite Commission to bring the academia, politicians and industry together on artisans.

He said SMIDO had re-organized artisans associations at Suame Magazine in Kumasi, to develop the capabilities of artisans to meet challenges of globalization, modernization and innovations in their field of operations.

He said SMATI would upgrade the knowledge and skills of artisans through the application of information, communication and technology in automobile diagnosis and repairs. Mr Vanderpuye urged the private sector to partner with SMIDO and government firmly on the ground for their mutual benefits.

He said the Ministry would support SMIDO to meet international competitiveness, adding that “with the right support, the Ghanaian can do well wherever he goes”. The Deputy Minister congratulated SMIDO for manufacturing locally a vehicle; christened SMATI Turtle, which was recently tested in the Netherlands.

He urged SMIDO to extend its tentacles to other regions of the country, so that they would impart their skills to other artisans.

Professor Samuel Innocent Kofi Ampadu, Provost of the College of Engineering of the KNUST, appealed to government to inaugurate the Engineering Council without further delay, declaring that this is the legal body that would see to the certification of artisans and contribute towards harnessing their full potentials.

He further urged government to include the transformation of the Suame Magazine Industrial Area, as a priority strategic project that has the potential to be replicated in all the 10 regional capitals because auto mechanics is a huge job creation activity with linkages throughout the whole economy.

Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, former Chief Executive Officer of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and SMIDO Patron said, tripartite partnership comprising the academia, the government and industry, would bring technological improvement in the country.

He called on government to set up such a Tripartite Commission; so that the academia would serve as an incubating ground for companies. Mr Sarpong Boateng, SMIDO President said the SMATI project would train mechanics in the country on modern vehicular repair technology, to enable them attain professional levels.

Mr Nyaaba-Aweeba Azongo, SMIDO Project Consultant, said the partnership with the KNUST and the launch of the SMATI project is to set the basis for the design of standardized engineering modules and curricula development within the framework of the SMATI initiative, the development of the Artisanal Engineering Unit of the KNUST to respond to the urgency of the industry to set the basis for nation-wide training, assessment and certification of artisan engineers to salvage the imminent collapse of the industry.

He said the project aims at not only improving the quality of engineering services and products to the mining and oil and gas industries, but to harness the potential of the SMATI institutional training potential to establish satellite centres to support the community technical livelihood project for the mining, oil and gas catchment communities.

Mr Felix P. Quansar, International Technology Planner said there is the urgent need for structured skills development, qualification and continued upgrading of the competence of artisans. A Memorandum Of Understanding was signed between SMIDO and KNUST as part of the launch.