Frank Robertson Jnr wasn’t strictly an Africa engineer. He was, even so, an Afro-American engineer from Texas who worked effectively in Ghana for much more than twenty years. Coming again house to Africa in the 1960s, at the invitation of Kwame Nkrumah, he ran a compact engineering business in Accra until eventually falling out with his fellow Afro-American small business husband or wife in the early 1980s. Then, supplying his providers to the United States Agency for Intercontinental Growth (USAID), he was appointed Technological Adviser to Ghana’s 2nd Intermediate Know-how Transfer Device (ITTU) gradually coming into existence at Tamale in the Northern Region. A organic correct technologist, Frank Robertson excelled in this job, and it was mostly to his credit that the ITTU received the help of the local men and women and became a substantial motor of adjust in 1 of Ghana’s most deprived areas.

From 1975 until finally 1979 the Technology Consultancy Centre (TCC) of the Kwame Nkrumah College of Science and Technological know-how (KNUST), Kumasi, searched for financial help for the ITTU idea. It was the intention of the TCC engineers to locate the very first ITTU in the centre of Ghana’s largest casual industrial location, Suame Magazine in Kumasi. By 1979, USAID and the Canadian Global Advancement Company (CIDA) had agreed in basic principle to help an ITTU, but both of those companies wished it positioned in the north of Ghana, hundreds of kilometres from the TCC in Kumasi. Immediately after further prolonged negotiations, CIDA was persuaded to support the ITTU at Suame and USAID opted for Tamale, the cash of the Northern Region. Both of those USAID and CIDA appointed specialized advisers to get the job done with the TCC and the person chosen to help set up the Tamale ITTU was Frank Robertson.

Frank Robertson experienced labored for a lot of years as the manager of All-Afra Engineering Ltd in Accra. During this time period Frank noticed a will need for an cost-effective electrical welding established and taught two compact workshops to manufacture these devices and offer them for sale. This was a single of the earliest illustrations of engineering manufacturing in Ghana and copies of Frank’s welder were quickly getting made not only in Accra but in Kumasi, Tema and other urban centres. This enhancement had a mass result in aiding many youthful men and women established up in self-work as jobbing welders. All-Afra’s work was mainly involved with new development, plant installation and repairs for official sector industries and Frank experienced several other possibilities to operate with the informal sector till he joined the Tamale ITTU crew in the early 1980s.

The university’s Office of Architecture had designed a new developing for the Tamale ITTU and USAID brought a pre-fabricated structure from the United states of america. Nevertheless, all building elements were being in shorter source, such as cement and steel reinforcing rods and it was approximated that there would be a two-year hold off ahead of the foundations and ground slab would be completely ready.

Frank was not content to sit and hold out, so he proposed creating an Acceptable Technology Club (ATC) in the huge backyard garden of the Undertaking Adviser’s bungalow. He invited younger males and gals to come and try out out their tips for new smaller enterprises. With a centre lathe and electric powered welding set Frank transformed the garage into a mechanical workshop. With function benches underneath shade trees, engineers and carpenters commenced earning weaving looms and beehives to patterns supplied by the TCC and cotton spinning wheels of Frank’s possess style, as very well as prototypes designed to exam ideas submitted by users of the ATC. Soon Frank was schooling cotton spinners on the veranda of the bungalow and broadloom weavers in the principal corridor. A beehive some length off below an additional shade tree furnished an early chance for instruction beekeepers. Frank was established that by the time the ITTU developing was all set there would be a nucleus of exercise on which to construct. He experienced also ensured the goodwill and comprehensive cooperation of the community which took to coronary heart all that Frank was performing for their benefit.

Just before Frank remaining Tamale in August 1986 the ITTU building had been concluded and all its plant set up, together with a nicely-outfitted machine shop, a welding and steel fabrication store, a carpentry workshop, an iron foundry and a 60KVA standby generator. Frank identified as it the best engineering workshop north of the Volta River. The people today of Tamale seemed on Frank as God’s present to their neighborhood and a lot of expressed their grief at his last departure. Frank would have appreciated to keep. He still left because his Ghanaian wife could see no long term for their predicted child in Flight Lieutenant Rawlings’ innovative Ghana. She persuaded Frank to get his relatives back again to Texas. Invited by a person head of point out, repelled by one more, Frank did his best for the continent of his forebears. It was a most effective that will be very long remembered in Tamale.

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