African Engineers: Simon Beyuoh

The story of Simon Beyuoh illustrates how a decided younger man from probably the most disadvantaged area of Ghana was helped to turn into a self-employed engineering workshop proprietor via the Intermediate Expertise Switch Unit (ITTU) programme established by the Expertise Consultancy Centre (TCC) of the Kwame Nkrumah College of Science and Expertise (KNUST), Kumasi.

Simon Beyuoh got here from Nandom, a small city within the excessive north-western nook of Ghana in Higher West Area, near the border with Burkina Faso. His individuals, the Dagatis, had been transformed to Catholicism by French missionaries from Burkina Faso (then Haute Volta) after years of dominance by the Moslem Walas with their base in Wa, the capital of Higher West Area. In his mid teenagers Simon adopted a sister and a cousin down the lengthy street to Kumasi, to hunt his fortune in Ghana’s second metropolis and the house of the golden stool of Ashanti.

Simon’s cousin, Kate, was employed because the retail retailer keeper on the first ITTU at Suame Journal, so he utilized for an apprenticeship within the steel machining part. At the moment it was uncommon for the ITTU to just accept uncooked inexperienced persons, preferring to recruit apprentices who had gained some primary abilities in an off-the-cuff sector workshop. Nonetheless, Simon impressed the choice board along with his tall fair-skinned presence and humble earnestness and commenced coaching in 1981. He quickly confirmed that he had pure aptitude and a capability for onerous work.

By 1984, the second ITTU was coming into operation at Tamale within the Northern Area below the knowledgeable steerage of Frank Robertson, the Afro-American engineer assigned as USAID Adviser to the undertaking. Frank wanted skilled workers and requested for transfers from Kumasi. Though Simon nonetheless had two years of his apprenticeship to finish, he utilized to switch to Tamale to be nearer to his dwelling city. The switch was granted and Simon turned one in every of Frank’s most trusted assistants. Simon benefitted drastically from Frank’s steerage and all the time spoke warmly of the alternatives that it opened for him.

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In Tamale Frank Robertson had launched a variety of actions transferred from the TCC in Kumasi. Because the state of affairs in Tamale was rather more rural than that in Kumasi, a lot emphasis was positioned on agriculture and rural crafts. Specifically, beekeeping was proving to be a well-liked pastime with wonderful honey yields. A couple of beehives bought from the ITTU may present a gentle year-round revenue. Simon determined to take up beekeeping as a spare-time exercise to complement his modest wage from the ITTU.

After finishing his apprenticeship, Simon was employed as a technician within the Tamale ITTU. In that place he labored steadily and reliably for a number of years. From June 1987, the ITTU was taken over by the GRATIS Undertaking of the Ministry of Trade, Science and Expertise (MIST). GRATIS continued the programme initiated by the TCC in Kumasi to encourage younger individuals skilled within the ITTUs to attempt to arrange their very own non-public workshops. Simon utilized to hitch the scheme and requested {that a} complement of machine instruments ought to be reserved for him from the primary consignment to be imported for Tamale.

In 1990 GRATIS helped the TRAX Undertaking to open a small workshop at Bolgatanga, capital of Higher East Area. This was in preparation for an ITTU to be established later. Sensing one other step nearer dwelling, Simon once more utilized for a switch and have become technician-in-charge in Bolgatanga. This was helpful expertise in preparation for managing his personal workshop.

Funding for the Tamale ITTU below the GRATIS Undertaking was offered by the Canadian Worldwide Growth Company (CIDA). When in the end machine instruments arrived on the market to personal workshops, some guidelines had been devised for offering the mandatory credit score finance. Below these guidelines the purchaser was obliged to make an funding equal to 25 % of the worth of the entire workshop after the brand new machines had been put in. Simon Beyuoh was included within the record of potential purchasers however managers and CIDA Advisers doubted whether or not he would be capable to increase the required quantity of 250,000 cedis (approx US$1,500).

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Interviews had been held in Tamale for the allocation of machine instruments. A few of the candidates already owned a workshop construction of which the worth was included as a part of their preliminary funding. Simon, nevertheless, wanted to search out the entire of his funding in money. When requested how he was going to search out the mandatory quantity he replied that he had sufficient cash saved within the financial institution from the proceeds of his beekeeping. Through the years he had constructed up his apiary to greater than forty hives.

Simon determined that his dwelling city, Nandom, was too small to assist his workshop so he established his everlasting enterprise in Bolgatanga the place it’s nonetheless flourishing. Many younger males, and some younger girls, have benefitted from Ghana’s ITTUs on this manner, however Simon Beyuoh is exclusive in having persevered to take his engineering abilities to the poorest areas of the far north the place they might be of most service to his personal and kindred communities.

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