An industrial development fund is due to be launched to facilitate the establishment of a modern industrial estate for artisans in automobile repairs and maintenance in Kumasi.
The Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organization (SMIDO) and the United Pension Trustee of the Vanguard Assurance Group are leading the initiative to secure a 1,000 acre land to re-establish artisans at Suame Magazine.
Suame Magazine is the single largest informal sector employer in the country, with a population of over 200 thousand.
Industrial development planners say the inability of the artisans to keep pace with technological advancement in the global automobile industry threatens the survival of the centre.
The financial scheme dubbed “SMID Fund” provides a framework for the development of the new industrial complex.
“This is a self-initiative to establish a fiscal regime in Suame Magazine and in that financial regime, we’ll be able to incorporate other financial partners as a syndicate enterprise to mobilize resources and funding to enable us not only establish the industrial village but to support enterprise development at Suame Magazine”, stated Nyaaba-Aweeba Azongo, consultant to SMIDO.
The proposed SMIDO-Otumfuo Industrial Complex project would be sited at Adubinsu-kese near Kodie in the Ashanti region. It’s proximity – about 8 minutes drive – to the present light industrial cluster makes the site attractive to the artisans.
SMIDO has already secured a Gh₵500,000 facility for 100 artisans to grant them titles to the land. Donor partners, led by the Danish Government, have expressed commitment to support the project.
Managing Director of the United Pension Trustee, Seth Obiri, explained that the SMID Fund would also serves as a one-stop-shop financial cover – pensions, insurance, welfare and equity share – for the artisans.
Acting SMIDO President, Sarpong Boateng, has enjoined the artisans to refrain from politics, backbiting, divisive tendencies and rather forge ahead in unison to safeguard the future of the industry and their livelihoods.
“It will only take fitters and their association leaders to develop the fitting industry and not governments. We cannot by our own actions and inactions destroy our future and expect government to conjure magic to fix it”, he stated.