The quest by the Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organisation (SMIDO) to ensure the application of modern automatics engineering in vehicular diagnostics and repairs in the industrial operations of Suame Magazine has received a significant boost. This followed the engagement of Mr.Lubomir Spacek, from the United Kingdom, an international expert and a service engineer from WABCO, one of the leading European and Global auto brands for a two day seminar on Electronic Braking Systems(EBS) and Anti Lock Braking systems(ABS) at Suame Magazine. The seminar was organised for 50 artisanal students and instructors of the Suame Magazine Automatics Technical Institute (SMATI). The seminar which was facilitated by the Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organisation (SMIDO) and the European Truck & Trailer Parts LTD (ETTP) was the first in the series of such seminars intended to expose the artisanal engineering students at SMATI to modern auto engineering best practices in the global automobile industry. The European Truck & Trailer Parts LTD (ETTP) is the authorised sales representatives of leading European auto brands such as Bosch, Mahle Filter, SACHS, WABCO, Garrett, Holset, Ferodo and FD Diesel in West Africa with its headquarters in Accra. The artisans were taken through a wide range of lessons in vehicular stability and road safety through modern Electronic Braking Systems, Anti Lock Braking systems and the basics of auto diagnostics engineering. The lectures were delivered by Mr. Lubomir Spacek ,through interpreters who are part of the SMIDO local team of experts in auto diagnostics studies currently assisting the students at the Suame Magazine Automatics Technical Institute (SMATI). A cross section of students interviewed were highly impressed with the exposure and said they wish they had been introduced to this system very early in their career to minimise the dangers of try and error in vehicular repairs. Some of them saw the exposure as a reminder of the level of denial and lack of interest in their trade by policy stakeholders who could have initiated this earlier on in the life of Suame Magazine. They were issued with certificates after the two day seminar. In an interview with the Resident Director of ETTP, Mr Ingo Weiler, he said the successful organisation of the seminar was to test the ground to assess the capacity of the artisans for them to appreciate modern automatics engineering practices. He indicated that upon the establishment of the institute prospects have improved for SMATI-ETTP partnership for equipment support, curricula development, common project adoption and implementation as well as the engagement of renowned global industry experts through their international partners for seminars at Suame Magazine. On his part, the consultant to SMIDO, Mr.Nyaaba-Aweeba Azongo, indicated that they were working vigorously to formalise the partnership with ETTP by June this year to strengthen their collaboration in all spheres of automatics engineering. He said he greatest desire was to ensure that both conventional and indigenous technologies were well harmonised for incorporation into the industrial operations of Suame magazine via SMATI. He indicated that apart from the transfer of technology component of the prospective partnership, they intend to push for the kind of collaboration which will enable SMATI and ETTP to initiate projects with the Ministry of Transport to offer state-of-the art solutions to national development challenges in the automobile industry in the country.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
THE University of Education Winneba (UEW) has made a technological breakthrough, with the production of particleboards using various crop residues and elephant grass for use in the furniture manufacturing industry.
The Faculty of Technical Education of the University located in Kumasi, in collaboration with the BMK Particle Board in Takoradi, produced the particleboards using residues including corn stalk, sugar cane bagasse and empty fruit bunch of the oil palm.
Over the years in Ghana, agricultural residues such as corn stalk and sugar cane bagasse were usually burnt on farms with their inherent pollution of the environment and the reduction of soil nutrients because of the belief that they have no economic use..
However, the University led by the Dean of the Faculty, Professor Reynolds Okai, with collaboration from BMK Particle Board in Takoradi, researched and uncovered that such agricultural residues could be utilised for the production of particleboards by industry.
The university has subsequently successfully manufactured different particleboard products such as beds, tables, bookshelf, TV stands, lockers and chipboards from the agricultural residue.
This was made known as well as exhibited at the university’s 5th Media Encounter in Kumasi on Wednesday, which was aimed at enhancing the relationship between the university and the media.
The encounter was on the theme, “UEW and National Education Reforms: Inspiring innovation and gender mainstreaming in UEW”.
Making a presentation on the industrial utilisation of the agricultural residue, Prof. Okai said the research was motivated by the increased demand for tropical timber which had resulted in depletion of large areas of forest cover.
He noted that Ghana’s forest cover of over eight million hectares during independence has reduced drastically to 1.4milion hectares and that illegal logging and chainsaw operations, farming activities and over dependence on traditional species including odum and mahogany were accounting for depletion of the forest.
Prof Okai said the ban on chainsaw operations and the promotion of lesser-known species were some of the measures instituted by the government to halt the depletion of the forest as well as the setting up of an annual allowable cut of one million cubic metres of round logs.
He said inspite of these measures, the annual timber requirement was estimated at 4.5million cubic metres of round logs and that there was the need to look for alternative species or materials as substitute for timber production.
He said as part of the research the corn stalk, elephant grass, sugar cane bagasse and empty fruit bunch of the oil palm were extracted from Daboase, a semi-deciduous forest zone in the Western region.
The Dean of Faculty of Education said they were then converted into chips, broken down into small particles, dried and screened and then glued together to form mats.
Prof Okai said the research indicated that the particleboards made from the agric residue were of fine quality than those made from wood and were also sweetable to use as chipboards.
He also added that the boards made from agric residue were also better in terms of water and moisture absorption than that of wood.
Also on gravity, he said the agric residue board have more weight than that of wood.
Prof Okai therefore called on government to help revamp the BMK Particle Board at Takoradi as well as help set up a particleboard production plain in the Brong Ahafo region where corn was grown in abundance.
Again, he called for establishment of a particleboard plant in the Eastern region preferably Nkawkaw and said there was the need for government to assist the private sector to set up particleboard plants.
The Vice Chancellor of the UEW, Prof Akwasi Ameyaw Asabre said the university was also researching into waste plastic and that it was currently doing some work on used water sachet and that findings of the research would be made public when it was completed.
He called for assistance from the government to enable the university to do more than it is now doing.
He announced that beginning next academic year, the university would open an additional campus at Ajumako in the Central region to bring the campuses of the university to four, Winneba, Kumasi, Mampong and Ajumako.
It would be recalled that the UEW had already discovered that the oil palm trunk could be utilised for lumber and furniture production.
Unfortunately, industry was yet to take up the findings for mass production.
Posted by Enoch Darfah Frimpong at 1:58 pm
A grand durbar, which climaxed the 10th anniversary celebrations of the enstoolment of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II as the 16th occupant of the Golden Stool, turned out to be a great cultural feast for thousands from all parts of the world.
A significant aspect of the durbar was the exhibition of the wealth of the Asantehene and his state as shown in the regalia paraded in his procession to the durbar grounds.
The rich culture and heritage of traditional rulers of Asanteman and other parts of the country were in full glare as Otumfuo Osei Tutu II led his paramount, divisional and sub chiefs to celebrate the anniversary at the Baba Yara Stadium.
The durbar ground witnessed varieties of Kente cloths, an assortment of colourful state umbrellas of different shapes and sizes and other traditional costumes, which brought memories of yesteryears, when traditional costumes were the order of the day.
The main focus of the festival, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II was the centre of pomp and pageantry. The King sat in his palanquin from Asafo and danced his way unto the durbar grounds accompanied by long retinue of palace attendants depicting the various roles they play at the palace.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu was adorned in rich kente cloth with ornaments of gold on his hands and feet. The weight of the gold ornaments made it difficult for him to lift his hands to greet the dignitaries who had gathered at the stadium in his honour.
The Asantehemaa, Nana Afua Kobi Serwaa Ampem who is about 105years old arrived at the durbar grounds briefly, paid homage to her son and departed. She received great cheers for having given Asanteman a great King,
But many were those who were disappointed, as they could not see the real sacred Golden Stool, which represent the soul of Asanteman.
A replica Golden Stool was carried to the stadium and displayed on a special chair (Hwedom) made for it.
Again many foreigners who anticipated to see more drumming and dancing were disappointed as they could only do with speeches after the Asantehene had taken his seat.
Parents had to carry their children on their shoulders for them to have a clear view of the Asantehene and his wealth as he rode in a palanquin from Asafo to the stadium in the once-in-a-life-time experience event.
The Asantehene was led by the “samanka”, which consist of a brass pan borne by one of the Asantehene’s healers and diviners “Nsumankwafo” and in it were talismans and herbs said to posses the power to drive away evil spirits so as to pave the way for the King to approach.
The “nsumankwafo” carried “bodua” which is a flywhisk made of animal tail and treated with medicine to drive off evil spirits.
Following closely after the “samanka” was the “sika mpaboa”, sandals with gold studded straps. It depicted the power of the King as it symbolises the fact that the King’s feet must never touch the bare ground.
Then came the “nsafoa” bunches of steel, silver and gold keys, symbolising that all doors were shut and locked up in the palace whilst the Asantehene was out.
This was followed by “mentia” (elephant tusk short horns) made of “kokwangya” horns, which in literal sense are known as “never left behind”, because they are always on hand whenever the King turns out in state.
“Nkofe”, present when the King turns out in public and “ntahera” which together with the two preceding horns heralds and announce the arrival of the Asantehene. The last one, “nkontwema” reminds all of the need to keep to time or the importance of being punctual.
Following the horns were chairs, “krokowa”, footstool for the Asantehene when he sits in public, “banwoma” an elephant skin that serves as a carpet for the chair, “Hwedom” which the Golden Stool rests, “Hwedomtea”, a chair on which the Asantehene sits and which is placed on a leopard skin. It is decorated with silver and gold studs, the back of this chair is embossed with a circular design in silver, called “dwenie”.
“Asipim nnamu”, “mmaadwa”, “hwedom”, “kodeedwa” were all part of the chairs that were displayed last Sunday.
Then came the drums, “sika akua”, “sika sankuo”, “nkukuadwa”, “mpedi”, “nkrawire”, “etwie”, “prempe” and “kwantempomuta” all together comprising the Asantehene’s musical ensemble.
Next in the procession were the swords, “asomfena” – courier swords, “mfena” and “mfenatenefuo” – sword bearers.
Following the swords were the umbrellas, “boaman”, “oyokomaa”, “nyankonton” – rainbow, “akokobaatan”, “nankanini”, “mfoanfoa”, amd “prekese”.
“Dwete-kokuo”, a silver casket in which were placed odd requirements of the Asantehene as he goes out from the palace, such as gold dust he would need to make purchases or to give away as presents was also around.
“Nseniefo” court criers and carriers who follow the symbolic regalia wearing gold decorated caps and are responsible for the maintenance of quiet and order when the Asantehene sits in public and also used as couriers of messages were also there.
“Ekyemfoo” bearers of shields made of wicker and decorated with skins of colobus monkey and “taa-hyefuo” bearers of gold and silver decorated tobacco pipes were also in the procession.
Their presence in the procession signified that it was the wish of the people that their leader should live to an old age since pipes are smoked mostly by the aged.
Other regalia of the procession were “ekyem” (war shields), “adumfuo” and “abrafuo” (guards and executioners”, “kokosesefuo” (young men of the royal family with fans), “ahopraduo” (bearers of the King’s elephant tail whisks, “nkotokuwa” and “sanaa and fotuo” (bags made of elephant hide containing god weights –sanaa- and gold dust – fotuo”)/
Indeed, the durbar was a great cultural feast that also signified the unifying factor of the Asantehene bearing in mind the calibre of dignitaries from all over the world as well as Ghanaians from different ethnic groupings and political parties that were there.
Posted by Enoch Darfah Frimpong at 1:57 pm
Okyeame Kwame proved that he was a real force to reckon with when in a unique style, he performed to pay tribute to His Majesty, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II for his modernisation of the chieftaincy institution.
At a concert, which was held in the Asantehene’s honour as part of his 10th anniversary celebrations last Friday, Okyeame Kwame arrived on stage in a palanquin, clad in a kente cloth with a sword “afena” in hand to signify the celebration of chieftaincy.
He gave the audience some acapella, poetry recitals all in praise of the Asantehene before flying onto “cloud nine” to bring out some old and new songs from his collection.
The Jubilee Park, the venue for the show was choked with people, comprising both elderly and young who trooped in from almost every corner of Oseikrom to be part of the anniversary.
The amazing performances exhibited by various artistes on the night was preceded with a “show your stomach” dance by the Master of Ceremony, Kwame Adinkra a.k.a. Apotiti of Angel FM who danced to the tune of “Alhaji Alhaji, Alhajo…” before introducing himself and the artistes.
Kwaku Gyasi as usual kick started the night, singing to live band music in praises to God almighty for the Asantehene’s life as well as ask God to give him long life.
Obrafour followed Gyasi to show his love to the people of Oseikrom through the power of music.
Lord Kenya appeared wearing a white top over a blue checked skirt and was determined to give off his best in his home soil but poor sound quality thwarted his efforts and before he could burst into his usual “jittery” moves, Charter House, organisers of the show had to call for an abrupt end in the performance.
The disappointed Kenya coolly walked off the stage for the anomaly to be rectified.
It was at this point that a big anniversary cake for the Asantehene was brought onto the stage for cutting. Unfortunately the audience in the popular stand could not get a bite as only the VIP guests did get to enjoy it.
A colourful firework display was also exhibited in honour of the Asantehene.
It was after that moment that the MC for the show, Kwame Adinkra explained that an earlier rainfall caused water to enter the sound systems thereby resulting in the hitches.
Lady Prempeh, followed by Echo, Ritchie and Asem took their turns to perform.
The audience welcomed the announcement of Okyeame Kwame with cheers and applause to show that they were there for no other thing but good music from the “Rap Doctor”
Batman Samini attested to the fact that he was not just a good rapper but could sing to live band music and do it well as he unleashed scintillating tunes to entertain the fans.
With heavy security presence made up of both police and military personnel, not many bad incidents occurred at the function apart from a few miscreants who thought they could take the law into their hands but the vigilant security personnel managed to track them.
While others were dancing and sweating, some of the fans were also pushing closer to the stage to catch a closer glimpse of the artistes
It was a well-organised show with a modern magnificent stage and lightening but the sound quality system could have been better.
Posted by Enoch Darfah Frimpong at 1:43 pm