The Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organisation (SMIDO) in Ghana and its external partners, Aaardschap Foundation of the Netherlands, have secured funding from the Netherlands Architectural Fund to manufacture a car at the Suame Magazine in Kumasi.
Two Dutch-based universities in Amsterdam and Rotterdam (Rietveld Academie and De Koning Academie) are currently designing the car.
A Consultant to the SMIDO, Mr Nyaaba-Aweeba Azongo, told graphic.com.gh in Kumasi that the project was the outcome of a partnership brokered between the SMIDO and Aaardschap Foundation in April this year to build a car as a shared partnership initiative.
He indicated that the team of technicians from the Dutch universities under the leadership of Melle Smets, the project leader, would be in Ghana in January 2013 to work on the final design and subsequent production with mechanics of Suame Magazine.
�By the arrangements, by the end of 2013, the car would be ready for exhibition,� Mr Azongo said.
The SMIDO, he disclosed, was currently working on a workshop space to accommodate the plant for the manufacturing of the car and the team when they arrive in January 2013 for the project.
The Netherlands team, the consultant said, would take between six and eight weeks to complete the preparatory work in Kumasi, Ghana, to pave the way for the exhibition and media documentary with both local and international media.
Mr Azongo said, the SMIDO had approached the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology to collaborate with the SMIDO and its partners to ensure that the final product would bring the Suame Magazine engineering skills into the mainstream of high-profile engineering institutions to set the basis for more such partnership initiatives.
The Suame Magazine, with a working population of over 200,000 is recognised as the largest artisan-engineering cluster in sub-Sahara Africa.
Mr Azongo indicated that the partnership agreement between the SMIDO and the external partners would also result in an exchange programme between mechanics from the Suame Magazine and automotive technicians in Holland.
The partnership will also run a documentary on the car and Suame Magazine as a major part of the policy to infuse modern technology into their external partnerships.
Mr Azongo said there had been more interest from newspapers and television stations in the Netherlands to document the building of the car and show the Suame Magazine to the world, and expressed the hope that the Ghanaian media would equally take keen interest in the major undertaking.
An art museum in the Hague in The Netherlands has also shown keen interest in doing an exposition about the car and the Suame Magazine in summer of 2013.
He said the external partners had good contacts with the Dutch Embassy in Ghana who were supporting the initiative.
Source: Daily Graphic
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