From Sebastian R. Freiku, Kumasi
OTUMFUO OSEI Tutu II, the Overlord of the Ashanti Kingdom, has called for collaborative efforts between the Ghana National Association of Garages (GNAG) and the Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organization (SMIDO) to further develop and promote the auto mechanical engineering industry in the Sub-Sahara Africa.
He said the proposed collaboration would be beneficial to the nation and the two bodies and their artisan members.
Otumfuo also called on the leadership of the two bodies to unite and ensure that their objective to make a positive impact in the artisanal engineering industry in the Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond is attained and sustained into the future.
The Ashanti King made the recommendation when he toured the Suame magazine on Wednesday during which he visited the headquarters of the Ghana National Association of Garages and SMIDO Secretariat in Kumasi.
The King’s visit of the industrial hub was inspired by the manufacture of a prototype vehicle christened SMATI Turtle 1, built by local artisans in partnership with a Netherlands-based NGO, AARDSCHAP Foundation, using simple tools from a cluster of engineering workshops at the Suame Magazine, which he had the honour to inspect and test drive when it was presented to him last Week Wednesday at the Manhyia Palace.
Addressing artisans at the Suame Magazine industrial hub, the Asantehene commended them for their ingenuity and the great service being rendered to Mother Ghana as a result, and hoped master artisans would step up apprenticeship to impact their knowledge to JHS and SHS graduates, who for one or two reasons cannot further formal education.
He pledged his support for them assuring that he would always be at their beck and call. ‘Governments will come and go but I will be there for you as always’, he said.
He called for a peaceful co-existence of the artisans who are into different auto mechanical engineering related areas and further advised them against acts of hooliganism and negative tendencies that impede the growth of their profession.
He reminded them of the fame Suame Magazine has gained in the whole wide world couple with the honour the hub has brought to Asante Kingdom, Ghana and the entire Black African continent and urged them to continue to look for ways of improving upon their capabilities in their respective fields.
Otumfuo urged them to regard their profession as God given talent for which they should hold it in high esteem since academicians including lawyers, doctors and Engineers, among others, could not match their ingenuity, expertise and craftsmanship.
The Asantehene was taken round to the Zone 18 of GNAG, where he inspected and sparked a locally made diesel engine and a hydro-electric power generator made by GNAG amid cheers by the elated mechanics.
The Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Augustine Gyenin took advantage of the Asantehene’s tour of the Suame Magazine and urged worker artisans not to encourage the manufacture of Suame locally-made guns.
He said the practice was a threat to security and peace of the ordinary Ghanaian hence the need for the artisans to save the image of the country by desisting from their (guns) manufacture and exposing those indulged in it.
The police chief also said helping to expose the bad nuts among them would help safeguard their hard won reputation as skilled artisans of repute.
The Chairman of GNAG, Mr. Osei Bonsu appealed to the Asantehene for the release of more lands for occupation by artisans at the various branches of GNAG particularly at Tepa, Mankranso and Obuasi.
Chairman Bonsu explained that the requested lands would help with the expansion of services by the Suame magazine, said to be the leading mechanical hub on the African continent. E N D.