From RUSSELL ADADEVOH in Accra, Ghana
ACCRA – VOLKSWAGEN is to establish a vehicle assembly facility and assess the feasibility of a modern Mobility Concept for Ghana, as part of its expansion in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The first locally assembled vehicles are planned to be on local streets in early 2019.
Volkswagen has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ghanaian government, which would pave away for developing a fully-fledged sales and service network as well as establishing a Training Academy for Production and After Sales in the West African country.
Thomas Schaefer, Head of the Sub-Saharan Region and the Honorable Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerenmaten of Ghana has signed the MOU in the presence of Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany and Mahamudu Bawumia, Ghana Vice-President.
Volkswagen undertook to commence with a feasibility study for an integrated mobility solution which will include a review of the commercial viability of introducing car sharing, ride hailing and shuttle services by way of a Ghanaian subsidiary of VWSA, or the appointment of a local service provider.
In turn, the Ghanaian Government undertook to develop a comprehensive Automotive Industry Policy which will incentivise and facilitate vehicle manufacturing and assembly in Ghana.
This includes a preferential procurement policy for locally assembled vehicles.
Schaefer welcomed the determination and desire of the Ghanaian Government to develop a motor industry.
As the second biggest economy in West Africa, Ghana is the ideal next building block in our Sub-Saharan Africa development strategy, he added.
The realisation of the MOU should see Volkswagen assembly locations increase to five.
Other locations are in South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda and Nigeria.
“Our long-term commitment to this region is real and sustainable. We believe that our committed actions and delivery of the last two years are proof of this,” Schaefer said.
Although the African automotive market is comparatively small today, the region could develop into an automotive growth market of the future, according to Volkswagen.
Nana Akufo-Addo, Ghana President, said the country was committed to developing a modern automotive and vehicle assembly industry as one of the new strategic anchor industries, which is part of Ghana’s industrial transformation agenda.
“This joint enterprise between our two countries opens a new chapter in Ghana-German relations, which would further strengthen the long-standing bonds of friendship and commercial engagement between Ghana and Germany,” Akufo-Addo said.
– CAJ News