Executives of the Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organisation (SMIDO), have paid a familiarisation visit to the Faculty of Engineering and Technology of the Kumasi Technical University (KsTU).
The visit, which formed part of efforts to bridge the gap between industry and academia marked the beginning of series of engagements between the University and SMIDO towards a sustainable partnership aimed at enhancing their capacities as artisans.
They toured the University’s state-of-the-art workshop installed with modern equipment and machinery at its Adako Jachie Campus to appreciate how they could use technology to improve their work.
The expectation is that, the two parties would soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which would allow members of SMIDO to have access to the facility to scale up their productivity and maximise income.
It would also provide opportunity for both parties to exchange ideas and best practices in academia and industry while leveraging on technology to improve service delivery.
Dr Prince Owusu-Ansah, Vice Dean of the Faculty, said the collaboration would enhance the rate of delivery and increase productivity of the artisans with the new technology being at their disposal.
“Bringing them here woould enlighten them and open their minds to the new development in the industry in the 21st century,” he noted.
He said as part of plans to sign the MoU, it was important to expose the artisans to the facility which was a one-stop centre for automotive, electronics, milling and machine design for them to appreciate how the collaboration would inure to their benefit.
Availing the facility to the artisans, according to Dr. Owusu-Ansah, would ensure mass production of components produced by the artisans for the automotive industry to spur economic growth.
He said the long term effect of the partnership on the local and national economy could be massive considering the fact that most of the things could be produced locally on large scale.
Dr Owusu-Ansah said the initiative also fed into the vision of the Education Ministry’s vision to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, saying that the informal sector could not be left out of the industrialisation drive.
Ms Elizabeth Sekyi-Whyte, the University Relations Officer, said members of SMIDO already had the skills but the visit and possible partnership with the KsTU would further sharpen their skills.
She said embracing technology was the way to go as artisans to meet the sophisticated needs of the modern client and stressed the need for both parties strengthen the partnership.