Alan Kyerematen, the outgoing Minister of Trade and Industry, says the Government will introduce a Vehicle Financing Scheme to make it possible for “ordinary” Ghanaians to purchase newly-produced vehicles in Ghana.
The Minister said access to the market was an important requirement for the survival of Ghana’s budding automotive industry, adding that the Financing Scheme would help to increase market volumes for local manufacturers.
Mr Kyerematen said this when he inaugurated a newly-constituted Ghana Automotive Industry Development Council, charged with the mandate to regulate the country’s automotive industry.
Members of the Council, numbering 35, were drawn from various government and private institutions, including the Ministry of Finance, Ghana Standards Authority, Automobile Dealers Union of Ghana, Automobile Department, Accra Technical University, Abossey Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association , and the Ghana National Association of Garages.
Mr Kyerematen said the Government was serious about its determination to make Ghana an automobile manufacturing hub in West Africa, and charged the Council to lead the design and implementation of strategic policies to achieve that goal.
“This industry thrives on the existence of a Vehicle Financing Scheme. All over the world, people do not buy cars with cash as they do in Ghana; it is through vehicle financing – and that is how come they generate the volumes.
“We are going to put in place a very comprehensive vehicle financing scheme that will ensure that the ordinary Ghanaian, public servant, and private individuals using this vehicle financing schemes can afford to buy made-in-Ghana vehicles,” Mr Kyerematen said.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry in 2020 launched the Ghana Automotive Development Policy to guide the development of a vibrant automotive industry in Ghana.
Since 2020, nine auto assembly companies producing various models of their brands, including Volkswagen Group, Yoyota, and Nissan, have all established assembling plants in the country.
Mr Kyerematen said the Automotive Council would among others 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 the Government invested $8m into the development of the Ghana Automotive Development Centre, which would serve as the Secretariat for the Council to coordinate its operations.
Mr Kyerematen said the Centre would also host a Training and Skills Development Centre, Policy Support Team, Brand Promotion Unit, among other supporting offices.
“It is also going to host the Customs Facilitation Unit so that we can provide a special window for customs facilitation for the assemblers and other stakeholders,” he said.
Mr Jeffery Oppong Peprah, President, Automotive Assemblers Association of Ghana (AAAG), said since 2020 up to date, the Association had seen the total local production of vehicles of 4,700 plus, amounting to 9.7 per cent of the country’s new car market rate.
He described the development as a “great start” and expressed hope that a full implementation of the Automotive Policy and the introduction of an auto financing scheme would grow the new locally assembled car market by about 60 per cent by 2027.
Mr Clement Boateng, Co-Chair, Abossey Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association, appealed to the Government to support the establishment of a factory to manufacture component parts to boost the automotive industry.