Strike while the iron is hot
MetadataShow full item record
CTA. 1994. Strike while the iron is hot . Spore 52. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/49427
Strike while the iron is hot Metal working or blacksmithing is an ancient tradition in most parts of Africa, but traditionally the skills were jealously guarded and were often restricted to certain families. Now mechanization and other aspects of...
Strike while the iron is hot Metal working or blacksmithing is an ancient tradition in most parts of Africa, but traditionally the skills were jealously guarded and were often restricted to certain families. Now mechanization and other aspects of rural development provide opportunities for young men to gain a valuable new skill which will both provide them with an income and help reduce the nation's imports. A long-term project to improve blacksmithing skills has been nun by Intermediate Technology and various local partner organizations in Zimbabwe and also in Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia. The project in Zimbabwe started in 1990 and is due to run until 1996. The idea is to take the training to where the potential trainees are rather than expecting them to travel to centralized courses in towns. This meant that IT had to make contact with existing local organizations who are already engaged in training blacksmiths or were willing to do so. IT's role is to help the local organization to become familiar with, or improve, training methods; for instance IT project workers have helped the NGO Organization of Rural Associates for Progress in this way. In the first three years over 50 participants had attended courses, many of whom were new to blacksmithing. The courses last from a few weeks to several months, depending on the level of skills to be achieved. The demand for training remains greater than the places available. Some of the participants at the courses in Zimbabwe have been coming from neighbouring countries so IT has seconded a member of staff from Zimbabwe to Manica Province, Mozambique to help train blacksmith instructors who will then pass on their skills to displaced people in three refugee camps. Zimbabwe has also provided a model and assistance to organizations in Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia.