(PUBLISHED ON MARCH 18)
Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi
The Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organisation (SMIDO) has entered into successful negotiations for an economic partnership with the Ghana Chamber of Mines to make the Suame Magazine an industrial service centre for the mining industry in the country.
The partnership forms part of a process to build the capacity of SMIDO to advance the technological prospects of Suame Magazine to respond to both the immediate and future technological needs of the mining industry in the country.
In a move to broker this partnership, the Ghana Chamber of Mines invited SMIDO to the Expanded Council Meeting of the chamber at the Elmina Beach Resort to explore areas of economic co-operation.
The partnership is expected to serve as a strategy for reducing poverty in the country.
The Development Planning Consultant to SMIDO, Mr Nyaaba Aweeba Azongo, told the Daily Graphic in Kumasi that SMIDO had had the opportunity to present its case to the chamber.
Mr Azongo said the seeming policy indifference towards the larger informal sector and the Suame Magazine in particular stemmed from the conceptual and operational crises of the Public-Private Partnership framework at the micro levels of the economy.
He said in such situations, the only strategic alternative to reach out to the informal sector where poverty was pronounced, was through what he described as the vertical integration between the macro level and the micro level players to pull micro economic entities or service centres along strategic paths of development through a systematic Macro -Micro Private Economic Partnership(MMPEP).
He emphasised that MMPEP was an alternative necessity for the vertical integration to trickle down the benefits of macro-economic developments to the micro-levels.
Mr Azongo, therefore, described the SMIDO-mining industry collaboration as holding the best prospects for piloting a case of vertical private-private sector integration operational framework for national development.
Copies of the SMIDO policy blueprint prepared by Mr Azongo and launched in Kumasi by the Chief Executive of the Chamber, Ms Joyce Aryee, were made available to members of the chamber.
Recounting his presentation to the chamber, Mr Azongo proposed a paradigm shift from the popular Social Corporate Responsibility (SCR) system, which he described as lacking a definite sustainable conceptual underpinning required to promote development in poverty-stricken economies.
The SCR concept, he noted, built a dependency culture that engendered maintenance and sustainability crisis.
In the local community support, SMIDO proposed to develop its technological centres in the mining communities to offer artisanal engineering training to young men and women of local mining communities as well as alternative livelihood sources for galamsey operators.
These centres will be integrated into the institutional system of SMIDO to create the right social harmony for the mining industries to operate in the local communities.
On the economic partnership front, SMIDO would be outsourcing contracts on behalf of its members and ensure the application of state-of-the-art technology, the development and use of common facilities for better finishing product. SMIDO’s emblem would be embossed on products from the Suame Magazine as evidence of quality by the organisation.
In the area of human resource development, SMIDO proposed to support the establishment of Suame Tech Automatics Engineering Institute (STAEI) in Kumasi to offer domain expertise to meet the practical needs of the mining industry.
The STAEI will serve as the centre for institutionalised retailing of technological transfers in the Suame Magazine and the artisanal engineering sector as a whole.
Mr Azongo said the members of the chamber were highly impressed with the proposals and felt that could be a major turning point for industrial development in the country and that the chamber would not shirk its responsibility of supporting SMIDO in the pursuit of such a noble cause.
The chamber resolved to undertake a familiarisation visit to SMIDO to explore the range of products at Suame Magazine to further boost the partnership, whose benefits would impact positively on the development of the small and medium enterprises in the country.