President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has launched Ghana’s first locally assembled Volkswagen car as part of investment geared towards the automobile industry.
This follows the signing of an MoU between the Government of Ghana and Volkswagen which was aimed at establishing a vehicle assembly plant in Ghana during German Chancellor, Angela Merkel’s official visit to Ghana in August 2018.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony on Monday, August 3, 2020 President Akufo-Addo said; “Volkswagen’s presence in Ghana has been facilitated by government’s bold move to develop the Ghana Automotive Development Policy under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry with generous fiscal incentives and I implore the minister, Alan Kyeremanten in bringing this to fruition”
“I am pleased that a major global automobile company, that is Volkswagen, has decided to assemble a number of brands right here in Ghana not only for domestic use but also for the larger West African market,” he added.
The President noted; “Additionally, the Minister for Finance, in his excellent Mid-Year Budget Review Statement to Parliament, indicated that Government is going to establish an Automobile Industry Development Support Centre, which will, amongst others, co-ordinate the technical processes for licensing domestic vehicle assemblers and manufacturers, and monitor, also, their compliance with industry regulations and standards.”
“The Centre will also co-ordinate the implementation of an essential element of a viable automotive sector, that is the establishment of a Vehicle Financing Scheme, which will link financial institutions to individuals and groups interested in purchasing newly-assembled vehicles in Ghana. Furthermore, the Centre will carry out an Automotive Skills Enhancement Programme to provide requisite skills for the various categories of the value chain of the automobile industry,” he explanied.
President Akufo-Addo adds government will in return to Volkswagen’s investment in Ghana, support the company in diverse ways to ensure the sustainability and profitability of the venture in Ghana.
Chief Executive of Volkswagen Ghana, Mr Jeffery Oppong Preprah on his part said the Ghana Automotive Development Policy, when implemented, has the potential to reach tremendous levels of automobile production.
“With a population of about 30 million people, Ghana has the potential of a maximum annual market of 300,000 new cars once the policy has been fully implemented and elements such a vehicle financing are in place,” Mr Oppong Preprah said.
Christoph Retzlaff, German Ambassador to Ghana who joined the ceremony via a virtual message said the launch of the first VW car loccally assembled demonstrates the interest of global players like Volkswagen in Ghana and West African.
“Since the signing of the MoU, all sides have worked tirelessly to implement the Agreement. With the official launch of phase one of the project, the first Volkswagen cars assembled in Ghana will soon be present in the streets of Ghana,” Ambassador Retzlaff said.
Earlier in June this year, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Alan Kyeremanten, visited the assembling plant of Volkswagen (VW) at the North Industrial Area in Accra, to have first-hand insight regarding the ongoing work of the automobile giant.
The president in his State of the Nation Address on February 21 this year, announced VW was due to start production by the end of April 2020.
With the Chinese company, Sinotruk, already engaged in the assembly of trucks in Ghana, the President said he was hopeful that other global automobile companies, which have indicated their preparedness to set-up shop in Ghana, will soon follow the remarkable, pioneering example of Volkswagen.
The establishment of these assembling plants, according to the president will create thousands of jobs for Ghanaians, particularly mechanical and electrical engineers.