African Engineers: Sosthenes Buatsi

Sosthenes Buatsi was the 1st man or woman to be appointed a Analysis Fellow in the new Engineering Consultancy Centre (TCC) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Know-how (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana, when it opened in 1972. In August 1980, Sosthenes Buatsi became the initially Supervisor of an Intermediate Technological know-how Transfer Device (ITTU) when the pilot ITTU started operating in Suame Magazine. Beneath his stewardship, until eventually September 1986 when he was appointed the very first Ghanaian Director of the TCC, the Suame ITTU accomplished a level of efficiency in technological innovation transfer that has never ever been surpassed. But Sosthenes Buatsi even now located time to set up his own personal company, Ayigya Steel Items Ltd, which was copied a hundred situations and impressed an business employing five thousand staff.

Ahead of he joined the TCC in August 1972, Sosthenes Buatsi experienced put in eighteen months attaining submit-graduate get the job done knowledge in Switzerland. A graduate of KNUST’s Higher education of Art with a BSc diploma in metal initiatives style and design, Sosthenes was generally a arms-on individual with realistic as nicely as designing abilities. To aid him satisfy the challenge of taking care of the ITTU, Sosthenes was specified leave to show up at a a single-12 months MSc class in industrial management in the university’s freshly shaped Department of Economics and Industrial Administration.

When he moved to Suame Magazine to handle the ITTU, Sosthenes faced a exceptional obstacle. The purpose of the ITTU was to demonstrate new producing systems and the manufacture of new solutions and invite self-used artisans to arrive for schooling, leading to the transfer of the action to non-public workshops. At the similar time the ITTU desired to promote the goods of its workshops, both equally in get to equilibrium its publications and to exhibit the viability of the new solutions in the nearby current market. Having said that, when non-public workshops took around an innovation from the ITTU, there was constantly the threat of the ITTU currently being accused of competing with its individual protégés. To stay clear of this, the ITTU desired to shift on to new functions as shortly as the current market could be equipped by the private sector. Managing the ITTU demanded an outward concentration on the needs of customer artisans and a substantial degree of sensitivity and flexibility.

Few men and women have accomplished this combination of competencies as very well as Sosthenes Buatsi. Most of his successors who have attempted and unsuccessful have completed so for the reason that their aim was on creating cash flow for the ITTU workshops alternatively than on sub-contracting orders to clientele as quickly as the clientele acquired the signifies to create the products. Obtaining sufficient do the job to retain the ITTU workshops busy was the responsibility of the Main Technician and Sosthenes Buatsi was tremendously assisted in this space by Edward Opare and the Principal Technician in demand of the Plant Construction Segment, Daniel Cheku. With this impressive workforce the Suame ITTU done its complete perform in know-how transfer and well balanced its publications through a long time of political upheaval, electric power power cuts and 3-working day-working.

After having in excess of in September 1986, Sosthenes Buatsi’s provider as Director of the TCC was marked by the introduction of a variety of new technologies such as the manufacture of bicycle trailers and hand carts, concrete roofing tiles and refractory ceramic crucibles for steel casting. He also initiated an enlargement of the TCCs agricultural jobs to incorporate animal husbandry in affiliation with minimum-tillage crop manufacturing and the formulation of regionally-manufactured feed for fish farming. His crowning accomplishment was to acquire and productively execute a contract to manage a a few-yr rural industrial advancement undertaking in Malawi funded by the Environment Bank. This undertaking concerned Sosthenes Buatsi spending several months in commuting to Malawi, and professionals from the TCC and KNUST produced quite a few visits more than the 3 12 months time period, with numerous investing up to 6 months on their mission. By this effort, about twelve rural business systems made and/or tailored in Kumasi ended up transferred to Malawi, 1000’s of kilometres to the south.

When he returned from Switzerland in 1972, Sosthenes Buatsi brought with him a metallic spinning lathe. The machine was used sporadically in the TCC’s campus workshop and it was not until the late 1980s that Sosthenes made the decision to use it in a little family small business. At initially, progress was sluggish thanks to shortages of uncooked content: non-ferrous metal sheets, but matters obtained far better when Aluworks Ltd commenced creating aluminium sheets in Tema and providing them on neighborhood marketplaces. Sosthenes moved his organization to Tema to be nearer the supply of raw material and persuaded his brother, Robert, then an officer of the Gratis Job in Tema, to supervise the perform. Ayigya Metallic Merchandise Ltd, developing aluminium pots, pans and bowls of terrific wide variety and interesting design and style, and selling at prices inside the arrive at of most persons, uncovered a market of huge likely.

Many local traders and artisans sought to set up metal spinning enterprises but the spinning lathes were being not accessible. The Tema ITTU took up the issue, and with the entire cooperation of the Buatsi brothers, Kofi Asiamah’s Redeemer Workshop in Tema was helped to generate replicas of the Swiss equipment. Within a decade the field in Tema encompassed more than one particular hundred compact enterprises employing an believed five thousand staff.

By this time Sosthenes Buastsi was retired but retained by the TCC as a consultant. Denying himself the spoils of an uncomplicated lifestyle abroad, Sosthenes Buatsi expended the whole of his performing occupation, and effectively into retirement, in the company of Ghana and of Africa. He established an instance that his contemporaries may possibly admire, and his successors really should take as a function product.

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