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05.02.2009 Education

Suame Magazine opens training school

By The Statesman

As part of efforts to help give formal skill training and capacity building to artisans in the industrial sector to help them meet modern challenges in the global automobile industry, the Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organisation has weekend commissioned a multi-million Ghana cedi Suame Magazine Automatics Technical Institute in Kumasi.

With the start of the Institute, artisans at the Suame Magazine industrial area will be taken through 18 months training in Basic Artisanal Engineering ICT studies, Artisanal Engineering Business Management Studies comprising; Accounting and Financial Management, Market Planning and Business Development and Inventory Management as well as Artisanal Engineering Auto Diagnostics Studies.

The project, which is a joint collaboration between the Technology Consultancy Centre of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and the Kofi Annan ICT Centre and being funded by DANIDA, USAID, DFID, the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge fund and SMIDO is accredited by the National Accreditation Board.

\Vice President John Dramani Mahama who commissioned the project said the lack of institutional training centres to educate artisans in modern vehicular diagnosing was the prime cause of the rapid collapse of the industry in Ghana and said the establishment of the technical institute was crucial and timely.

According to the vice president, there was the urgent need for the retraining and retooling of this pool of talents to make them productive and remain in business in order to stem the danger of aggravating unemployment, poverty and increased crime if their businesses collapse.

Mr. Mahama stated that it was prudent to focus attention on harnessing our untapped resources to save the Suame Magazine from total collapse precipitated by modern technological innovations and sophistication in the automobile industry.

Giving the overview of the project, the Consultant for the project, Aweeda Azongo said the Suame Magazine which has existed for 80 years, keeps growing on its own without any planned intervention by the government, a situation he observed can lead to its collapse.

He explained that the industrial hub has five clusters, all of which revolve around one principal sub cluster, which is the vehicular repair cluster, adding that if particular attention is not given to institutional training to boost this area, its collapse can affect the other revolving sub clusters.

The president of the SMIDO, George Asamoah Amankwa stated that the very survival of Suame Magazine, the fitting industry in Ghana and even the West African sub-region is under serious threat due to the inability of the artisans to cope with the sophisticated modern technology that requires the use of ICT Auto diagnostic tools in vehicular repairs for the new models of vehicles which are fast replacing the old models.

"Given its current status as the only surviving industrial estate and propelling sector of Kumasi, the imminent collapse of the industrial estate as has been projected sends signals of mass unemployment in the metropolis.

Indeed Kumasi would be reduced to a ghost economy without Suame Magazine', the president stressed, noting 'Suame magazine currently has 12,000 enterprises with over 200,000 working population

Suame Magazine is thus supporting the livelihood of over 600,000 on the lower variant of  3 per dependency rate'.

He called on government to allocate funds from the GETFUND to the new institute to ensure its survival.

Dorothy Gordon of the Kofi Annan ICT centre pledged the centre's readiness to demystify ICT training to make it attractive to the artisans most of whom feel they can not receive the training owing to their low educational background.