African Engineers: Solomon Adjololo

Kumasi, Ghana’s next town, offers what is claimed to be the greatest current market in West Africa at Kejetia. The most productive girl trader in every single big commodity is specified the queen of that section of the industry. As a result one particular can discover a ‘shoe queen’ or a ‘soap queen.’ If the a lot of engineering business owners of Kumasi ended up to adopt the same apply, Solomon Adjorlolo would unquestionably be elected king of that domain.

Solomon Adjorlolo was a technician engineer at the physics section of the Kwame Nkrumah College of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, but his ambition was to commence his individual enterprise. He started in 1971 by producing essential physics instruments to sell to secondary educational institutions. Served by Dr Frank Lukey, an English physics lecturer, Solomon begun his company in Dr Lukey’s garage on the KNUST campus. As the company expanded and a handful of simple woodworking devices ended up acquired Solomon decided to locate a workshop at Anloga, a suburb of Kumasi with a large local community of carpenters and wherever he had family connections.

Wooden was not the only substance utilised in Solomon’s early operate but it highlighted in most of his merchandise. He diversified into manufacturing a lot more wooden solutions like key university teaching aids, drawing boards and tee squares. At 1st, the consumers acquiring these products were private faculties operate by the church buildings which paid their charges promptly, but to additional develop the company Solomon was compelled to seek orders from point out educational facilities. Informed to gather payment from the Ministry of Training, the money either arrived really late or not at all. He determined that the organization could not go on like that and he should examine new markets.

It was then that Solomon contacted the Engineering Consultancy Centre (TCC) of the college. The TCC was demonstrating steel machining and welded steel plant development and offering instruction and entry to equipment resources, so Solomon made a decision to flip to metal manufacturing. By this programme, in 1979, he was supplied with equipment instruments: lathes, a milling device, welding and sawing machines. Solomon resolved to formally sign-up his company and adjusted its identify to SIS Engineering Ltd.

Surrounded by hundreds of carpentry workshops, the new business was at times asked for to undertake repairs on imported bench saws, planers and woodturning lathes. Solomon discovered that only a couple of the larger workshops could find the money for these imported equipment and there was a large marketplace on his doorstep for regionally generated devices bought at inexpensive prices. He commenced building bench saws and woodturning lathes and discovered that developing equipment was considerably extra worthwhile than any of his former ventures.

Right after a couple a long time just about every workshop in Carpenters’ Row, Anloga, experienced an SIS bench saw and numerous workshops were operating with four or far more SIS woodturning lathes generating thousands of household furniture legs and the well known double-finished pestle termed an ‘ata’ (twin). Not only in Kumasi but all over the country, SIS devices were being gaining a track record for sturdiness and efficient following-income services. In addition to lower cost, becoming ready to provide spare sections and repairs at short observe proved a significant edge in competitiveness with imported equipment.

By the mid 1980s, SIS was generating substantially additional than woodworking machines. The article-harvest and foodstuff processing field was a massive opportunity market place for inexpensive domestically-made equipment. SIS generated a selection of machines for milling corn, processing cassava and extracting palm oil and shea butter. As the work progressed the equipment grew larger sized to attain an industrial scale, with multi-tonne-a-working day feed mills for substantial poultry farms, vegetable oil mills and steam distillation plants generating fragrance from citronella and lemon grass.

Though Solomon was now developing plant for rather huge enterprises he under no circumstances dropped his worry for aiding the little-scale informal sector industries. Assisting standard women’s teams generating basic foodstuffs was often 1 of his priorities. For illustration, the common meals solution ‘gari’ was manufactured from cassava by teams of girls using basic hand tools and charcoal stoves. When he was asked to deliver a mechanical plant for a male entrepreneur he was apprehensive that the girls may be pushed out of business enterprise. He consulted the TCC, and functioning with the National Council on Ladies and Improvement (NCWD), aid companies were alerted to the threat and many of the women’s groups have been equipped with the new engineering.

By the late 1980s, several of the orders for food processing machines arrived specifically to SIS Engineering from development organizations marketing rural and women’s industries. No for a longer time needing the TCC as a go-involving Solomon was aiding the TCC far more than the TCC was helping SIS. He was associated in the progress of new devices, coaching apprentices and contributing to teaching workshops, seminars and brief programs held at the university. Nevertheless, remaining a foremost member of the TCC Clientele Affiliation, Solomon Adjorlolo generally managed that with out the tips of the TCC to change to metal producing, and the provide of equipment instruments on straightforward-payment phrases, none of his good results would have been feasible.