An $8-million Automotive Development Centre in Accra was yesterday inaugurated to serve as a one-stop-shop for the delivery of automobile services to drive the growth of the industry in Ghana.
The centre will serve as an Office Complex for the operationalisation of the Ghana Automotive Industry Development Council which is made of representatives of public institutions including the Ministry of Transport, Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Ghana International Trade Commission (GITC), Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and other private players in the industry.
It will also provide policy support, vehicle financing, investment and customs facilitation, training and skills development, vehicle testing and certification as well as a showroom for exhibiting locally assembled vehicles.
Inaugurating it, the outgoing Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, said the centre was government’s contribution to the development of the industry, which was one of the strategic pillars to enhance Ghana’s economic growth.
Currently, he said, Ghana was on the path of becoming a vehicle manufacturing hub within the sub-region through the implementation of the Ghana Automotive Development Policy, leading to the attraction of six of the top 10 leading original equipment manufacturers of the world to invest in the country.
Under the policy, he noted that there were currently nine auto assembly companies producing various models of their brands using local engineers and technicians.
As part of the government’s efforts to develop an integrated automotive value chain, Mr Kyerematen noted that, the Ministry had drafted the Ghana Automotive Component Manufacturing Policy to provide incentives and a regulatory regime to attract component manufacturers into Ghana’s Automotive Industry whilst taking advantage of the existing resource.
Included in the policy, he stated, was the establishment of an automotive industry development council to develop an effective economic consultation structure to effectively address any issues related to automotive assembly activities and to provide input into any policy review exercise.
He said, other key functions of the council was promote the harmonious and integrated development and growth of vehicle assembly, automotive components manufacturing and their related trading activities in Ghana and externally, in collaboration with the key stakeholders in the industry.
It was also to make recommendations to government on the implementation of the Ghana Automotive Development Programme, including the Incentive and Regulatory Framework, Access to Industrial Infrastructure, Vehicle Financing, Training, Technology Upgrading, Supplier Development, and Standards and Safety, Mr Kyerematen added.
President of the Automotive Assemblers Association of Ghana (AAAG), Jeffrey Oppong Peprah, said the centre was critical in making Ghana an automobile hub as well as attracting more players in the global automobile industry to the country.
The association, he noted, was working with government to develop innovative schemes to create skillful and well-paid jobs for Ghanaians
The Co-chairman of the Abossey Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association, Clement Boateng, called on government to assist spare parts dealers with funding to support their plan to commence the manufacturing vehicle servicing parts in partnership with other industry players.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS