Accra, Nov. 6, GNA- Ghana on, Tuesday, signed an agreement with Japanese automaker, Nissan, for the establishment of an assembly plant in Ghana, with further plans to make the country its sales and marketing hub in West Africa.
The agreement seeks to promote the development of the automotive sector; investor-friendly regulatory frameworks for sustainable car manufacturing; infrastructure development; job creation and skills development in Ghana.
The agreement was signed, in Accra, the Managing Director of Nissan Group of Africa, Mr Mike Whitfield, paid a courtesy call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House.
With Nissan leading car sales in Ghana, having 32.8 per cent of the market share last year, Mr Whitfield told the President that Nissan purposed to be the first carmaker to assemble vehicles in Ghana, building on its market leadership in the country.
“Nissan is the most popular auto brand in Ghana because the quality of our products and services has won the trust of our customers…,” he said.
“We want to build on our leadership by supporting the Government to create the environment for a successful automotive manufacturing industry in the country.
“Building vehicles in Ghana will enable us to further improve the products and services we offer to our customers here and this will have significant, long-term benefits for the economy in terms of jobs and growth”.
Mr Whitfield said Nissan would work closely with Ghana and other members of the Association of Automotive Manufacturers, to provide its global expertise to establish a sustainable auto manufacturing industry in Ghana.
“Establishing a long-term automotive industrial development policy will give investors further confidence in Ghana,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo welcomed, with enthusiasm, the decision by the Japanese automaker to invest and make Ghana one its homes and assured of the Government’s full cooperation to make the investment a success for both sides.
He explained that the automotive industry was an area of focus in his administration’s determination to move the country away from being producers and exporters of raw materials, to an economy of value-addition and industrial activities.
“To have at A+ company like yours in Ghana is positive, and we welcome you strongly,” he said.
“We hope that the MoU that will be signed will not just remain an MoU but will translate into concrete benefits for us all,” President Akufo-Addo said.
Mr Alan Kyerematen, the Minister for Trade, who signed the agreement for Ghana, lauded Nissan’s commitment, saying, Ghana was also committed, by the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, to working with Nissan to create the environment conducive for the level of investment that would make Ghana’s automotive sector a reality.
Industry-wide, vehicle sales in Ghana have been growing steadily at an annual rate of about 10% and now stand at about 9,150 vehicles a year.
The agreement builds on Nissan’s investment in Nigeria where, in 2013, the Company became the first major automaker to assemble cars there.
Nissan is the third automaker to declare its intention to build assembly plants in Ghana.
German auto giant, Volkswagen, and Chinese heavy duty vehicle manufacturer, Sinotruck have also committed to assembling their vehicles in Ghana.