The prototype of a vehicle built by artisans of Suame Magazine, in collaboration with their Dutch partners, Aardschap Foundation, will be displayed at an international exhibition in the Netherlands in May, 2013.
The exhibition, which is an initiative of the Dutch partners and would be covered by the international media, is to court international investor interest for the commercial production of the vehicle.
Named “Smati Turtle1”, the vehicle was the outcome of years of systematic planning by the Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organisation (SMIDO), an umbrella of non-governmental organisation and development institution for Suame Magazine. SMATI is the acronym for Suame Magazine Automatics Technical Institute, an institutional engineering training concept for the artisanal engineering industry being pioneered by SMIDO.
The ‘Turtle’ is a robust reptile and an amphibian, which symbolises strength and the ability to withstand the African terrain. SMIDO said the vehicle had some features of the old ‘Boafo’ vehicle, which was developed at the Suame Magazine in the 1970s.
According to SMIDO, the feat achieved by the artisans in producing the Boafo vehicle actually inspired the organisation and Aardschap Foundation to embark on the venture to produce the new vehicle.
On Wednesday, April 10, officials of SMIDO and the German partners presented the vehicle to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, for inspection at the Manhyia Palace. The vehicle would be formally presented to the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Eric Opoku, for his inspection before a test drive to Accra for subsequent presentation to the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana after which it would be shipped to Netherlands for international exhibition.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu, who sat in the vehicle to experience the way it works, highly commended SMIDO for showcasing the engineering ingenuity of Suame Magazine, and called for a renewed national interest and support to develop Suame Magazine as a major national asset.