President Commissions Toyota & Suzuki Vehicle Assembly Plant
The President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo on Tuesday, 29th June 2021, commissioned the Toyota Tsusho Vehicle Assembly Plant, located at the Free Zones Enclave in Tema.
Toyota Tsusho is the third Bonafide Vehicle Assembler after Volkswagen Ghana and Kantanka Automobile Industries, to be licensed to begin the local assembling of vehicles under the Ghana Automotive Development Programme.
The programme approved by Cabinet in 2018 and spearheaded by the Ministry of Trade and Industry aims at making Ghana the automobile manufacturing hub of Africa.
Ghana imports over 100,000 vehicles per annum, which makes motor vehicles among the leading imported commodities into the country, accounting for about 15% of the annual import bill.
The development of the automotive industry in Ghana is therefore a game-changer for the Ghanaian economy aimed at significantly reducing our import bills, creating jobs and contributing towards improving the Country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
According to the President, the vision is to make Ghana a fully integrated and competitive industrial hub for the automotive industry in West Africa, and we are very much on course”.
On job creation, the President continued, “This facility has already offered some three hundred and thirty-four (334) employment opportunities to young Ghanaian graduates from our tertiary institutions across the country, notably from the University of Ghana, the University of Cape Coast, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the George Grant University of Mines and Technology, and some technical and vocational institutions”.
The decision taken by Toyota Tsusho to undertake the investment, according to the President, has come at a very opportune time in Ghana’s development, as it serves as a major boost to ongoing efforts by Government to hasten the nation’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The confidence in the Ghanaian economy, expressed by a global organisation like Toyota, he said, will provide additional impetus to the realisation of Government’s post-COVID economic recovery programme, titled the one hundred billion cedi Ghana Cares Obaatampa Programme, which has been designed to revitalise and transform the Ghanaian economy in the new COVID-19-free era.
“One of the components of this Programme is for Government, in collaboration with Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs), to develop an Asset-Based Vehicle Financing Scheme for public sector workers to purchase locally assembled vehicles. This Scheme will make acquisition of new vehicles more affordable,” the President said.
He assured that Government will continue to create the enabling environment to boost the profitability of the emerging automotive sector in Ghana, adding that the Ministry of Trade and Industry is working with other state institutions, such as Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) and Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC), to develop locally the required raw material value chains to feed the manufacturing sector of the automobile industry.
In addition to this, the President revealed that Government has also acquired a building complex at the South Industrial Area, in Accra, to be developed as the Ghana Automotive Development Centre, which will, amongst others, serve as a one-stop support destination for the implementation of the Auto Policy, and be a hub for the development of advanced skills for the industry.
The complex will also house the Ghana Automotive Development Council, a consultative stakeholder body, to oversee the auto policy implementation, and promote Ghanaian participation in the development of the sector.
Also speaking, Alan Kyerematen, Ghana's Minister for Trade and Industry, said the establishment of the plant in the country is a step towards the local manufacturing of cars in Ghana.
“In Africa, we import millions of dollars of cars. I’m very confident that with what we’re doing here, very soon, we will see made-in-Ghana cars all around Africa. The industry will create highly skilled jobs and promote training opportunities for the youth of our country. It will also have multiplying effect by stimulating the growth of other sectors of our economy,” Kyerematen said.
Volkswagen, Nissan, Sinotruck and Katanka are other vehicle brands have sited assembly plants in Ghana.
In April, Hyundai and KIA, South Korean multinational automotive manufacturers, announced plans to establish assembly plants in Ghana by the end of 2022.