Automobile industry to be Africa’s hub: a substitution to imports –Ofori-Atta

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Ken Ofori-Atta

Government intends to use the development in the automobile industry as a catalyst for import substitution and exports of Ghanaian products within the African region.

Speaking at the Mid-Year Policy Review in Parliament, Finance Minister said the automobile industry is considered by government as a strategic anchor and one that has the potential to transform the economy.

“Ghana is well positioned to become the new automobile manufacturing hub in Africa”, Ken Ofori-Atta stated. Giving details on the sector, he said “the Ministry of Trade and Industry policy on Industrial Transformation Agenda is a significant step towards import substitution and to boost exports within the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)”.

The introduction of a comprehensive Automotive Manufacturing Development Policy, government sources say, have attracted leading global automobile companies to the country and there’s more to come.

During the last week launch of the Volkswagen collaboration with BlackIvy, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of Ghana, stated that: The German car production’s move with BlackIvy for the production of affordable cars and homes for the people of Ghana is very creditable.

Dr Bawumia further stated that “this is a manifestation of government’s made-in-Ghana strategy that underpins Ghana Beyond Aid.”

“For the automotive industry to be successful, there must be enough domestic demand for the vehicles produced here. In this context, our proposed National Transport Recapitalisation Project will provide a lease-to-own option to all commercial drivers to exchange their old cars for new-made of assembled-in-Ghana vehicles.”

Also, in March this year, the Volkswagen Group rolled out the first VW locally assembled vehicle in the country and produced six different brands of vehicles, namely; Tiguan, Teramont, Amarok, Passat, Polo and Caddy and later followed by new ranges of Kantanka vehicles. The Kantanka Group has long and rich heritage in our market and has also been formally granted a license to continue their auto assembly operations in the country and to benefit from incentives under the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Development Policy, Mr Ofori-Atta made known.

Sinotruk, a leading global manufacturer of Heavy Duty Trucks is also assembling variety of trucks in the country through Zonda Tec Ghana Limited. The only indigenous Ghanaian company.,

To consolidate these gains so far, the government under the watch of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Finance Minister noted, will establish an Automobile Industry Development Centre in the country.

The Centre will among other things, coordinate the technical processes for licensing vehicle assemblers and manufacturers and monitor their compliance with industry regulations and standards.

The Automobile Industry Development Centre will also coordinate the implementation of a Vehicle Financing Scheme which will link financial institutions to individuals and groups interested in purchasing newly assembled vehicles in Ghana.

Furthermore, it will manage an Automotive Skills and Technology Upgrading Programme to provide requisite skills for the industry. “The continued and successful implementation of these interventions is delivering real relief to our people. Effectively, we are gradually building a stronger foundation for a more inclusive transformation of our country”, the Finance Minister concluded.

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