May 28, 2024


Red Hot Food

African Engineers: The Queen Would not Loiter

In the Kingdom of Ashanti, which comprised about 50 % of modern day Ghana, tradition data say that it was the queen mother who was liable for introducing new technologies these as the iron hoe and the oil lamp. So when the newly-fashioned Technological innovation Consultancy Centre (TCC) of the Kwame Nkrumah College of Science and Technologies (KNUST), Kumasi, was in research of a symbol in 1972, it selected a traditional design and style, printed on fabric by the Adinkra craftsmen of the village of Ntonso and named ‘ohemaa nkyinkyin’ or the queen mother won’t loiter about with very little to do. The emblem does not only have a name but also a concept: ‘esese me danedane me ho na meye neama pii, I have to modify myself and enjoy quite a few parts.’ Engineering, like some other professions, has ordinarily been viewed as a male maintain, so it is pleasing to take note that in Ghana, earlier and present, gals have been accorded because of credit score for their involvement in complex innovation.

One exercise that is usually related with gals is jam earning, and one particular of Ghana’s earliest and most successful industrial entrepreneurs was a jam maker, Esther Ocloo, who had to purchase a great offer of technical know-how in establishing her massive modern day food processing plant, Nkulenu Industries, at Madina in close proximity to Accra. Esther Ocloo was elected the 1st president of the Ghana Makers Affiliation when it was launched in 1958 (as the Federation of Ghana Industries) and she was re-elected to serve a 2nd term from 1978 to 1980. Her huge contribution to grassroots industrialisation in Ghana was recognised by the TCC and she was awarded an honorary DSc by KNUST at its Silver Jubilee congregation for the conferment of levels in 1976. It was to be a single of the earliest of a lot of countrywide and global honours conferred upon her above the upcoming quarter century.

Shortly after the demise of Dr Ocloo in 2002, her niece, Dr Peggy Oti-Boateng, was appointed director of the TCC. Peggy experienced joined the TCC in 1982 to provide her year of Countrywide Company and she stayed on to promote women’s tasks in foods processing and beekeeping. Immediately after some a long time away, which includes finding out for a PhD in Australia, Peggy returned to the TCC as a senior member, leading to her appointment as director in 2003. So the involvement of ladies, and the Nkulenu clan, in grassroots industrial advancement ongoing into the 20 to start with century.

Cecilia Apawu graduated from KNUST in 1989 with a diploma in mining and mineral engineering. For her last calendar year thesis, Cecilia chose to operate with the TCC’s Suame Intermediate Know-how Transfer Unit (ITTU) on a examine of the know-how of the aluminium pot casters of Suame Journal, Ghana’s greatest informal industrial parts. The work she attained was a great instance of how the scientific strategy can be utilized to understand and ultimately improve an founded grassroots field. Later, after signing up for the Gratis undertaking at Tema, in the vicinity of Accra, Cecilia was capable to repeat her study with the artisans in Ashiaman and set up a training programme at the Tema ITTU to assist them boost the high quality of their goods.

In the early 1980s, at the Suame ITTU, no youthful girls came forward for apprenticeships in any of the engineering workshops. This was probably due to the fact of the powerful male tradition in the crafts of the Magazine. On the other hand, when the ITTU arrived to Tamale, and afterwards to Tema, it discovered no these types of barriers to woman recruitment and younger women of all ages utilized for apprenticeships in growing figures. The process was aided by the existence of woman engineers and professionals who undoubtedly inspired their sisters to stick to them into engineering. By the transform of the century, various former female apprentices of the Tamale and Tema ITTUs were being managing their very own compact engineering workshops outfitted with modern equipment tools.

One particular of the most successful initiatives of the Tema ITTU was the introduction of the locally-created metallic-spinning lathe. This improvement was prompted by the availability of aluminium sheets generated in Tema by Aluworks Ltd. Utilizing lathes designed in Tema by Kofi Asiamah’s Redeemer workshop and many others, business people made large portions of domestic pots and pans that sold at aggressive prices in community marketplaces. In 5 a long time the field grew to consist of much more than a hundred producers employing an believed 5000 workers. Quite a few of the revolutionary entrepreneurs had been ladies who experienced formerly offered imported merchandise of a comparable nature. It may perhaps be hundreds of years considering the fact that the queen mom of Ashanti saw the rewards of the oil lamp but females in Ghana today are nevertheless fast to spot prospects to gain from new industrial developments.