Ghana has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Japanese automaker Nissan, to build an automotive manufacturing industry in the country.
The announcement was made on November 6, 2018 following a courtesy call on the country’s President Akufo Addo by the Managing Director of Nissan Group of Africa, Mike Whitfield.
Nissan models accounted for 32.8% of vehicle sales in Ghana last year and the move will make Ghana the hub for sales and marketing of Nissan in West Africa.
According to Whitfield, Nissan aims to be the first carmaker to assemble vehicles in Ghana, building on its market leadership in the country.
“We want to build on our leadership by supporting the government to create the environment for a successful automotive manufacturing industry in the country,” Whitfield told reporters after signing the MoU with Ghana’s Trade Ministry.
“Building vehicles in Ghana will enable us to further improve the products and services we offer to our customers here and will have significant, long-term benefits for the economy in terms of jobs and growth,” he added.
Providing no further details, he only said that Nissan’s plans would hinge on a national auto policy that the government is expected to launch by the end of 2018.
The President on his part welcomed the automakers’ decision to establish an assembly plant in Ghana.
“To have an A+ company like yours in Ghana is positive, and we welcome you strongly. 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.
The MoU seeks to unlock economic potential, promote development of the automotive sector and promote investor-friendly regulatory frameworks that encourage sustainable car manufacturing.
The aim is to promote infrastructure development, job creation and skills development in Ghana.
Ghana’s Minister for Trade, Alan Kyerematen, praised Nissan’s commitment to Ghana, saying, “We welcome this MOU and commit ourselves in turn to working with Nissan to create the necessary environment for the level of investment that will make Ghana’s automotive sector a reality.”
The agreement builds on Nissan’s investment in Nigeria where, in 2013, the company became the first major automaker to assemble cars.