ECOWAS to implement automotive industry policy to reduce vehicle import

GHANA – Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) is considering implementation of automotive industry policy to reduce importation of vehicles into the region.

According to GNA report, the validation of ECOWAS Automotive Industry Policy Framework would enable member states countries to harmonise their automotive policies in order to optimise the benefit in the value chain of the industry.

Ministers and Commissioners representing the various member states in Trade, Industry and Investment met in Accra, Ghana to discuss the implementation of the policy through regional harmonisation.

The Ministerial Meeting on Validation of ECOWAS Automotive Industry Policy Framework looks to find ways to attract original equipment manufacturers such as Toyota, BMW, Nissan and others while learning from them to improve standards.

At the conference, it was noted that automotive industry was a strategic sector, which would aid in solving the unemployment situation in the sub-region.

It also outlined the need for ECOWAS nations to adopt manufacturing and industrialization policies to help solve the unemployment challenge.

In that vein, Ghana’s President Nana Akudo-Addo’s government had adopted comprehensive and robust industrialisation policy through the formulation of 10-points plan, including the One-District, One Factory initiative, which each district was being supported to establish an enterprise.

Additionally, government was establishing anchor industries and One-Region, One-Park, which would serve as an industrial enclave for each region to accelerate economic growth.

According to Mr Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, Ghana’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Ghana had been deepening on cocoa and gold for the sustenance of its economy, therefore it was adopting a paradigm shift in its economic development, and that the ECOWAS Automotive Policy was in sync with the Government’s industrialization agenda.

Mr Yero Baldeh, the Country Director of the African Development Bank, said the ECOWAS Automotive Policy would contribute to the Bank’s “Industrialise Africa” and Integrate Africa” goals, which is in line with its private sector strategy.

He said the Bank’s strategic goal was to help improve the capacity of African producers, particularly manufacturers to compete with imported products in the local market.

“As you’re aware, industry has always played a vital role in development. It boosts economic activity along value chains from raw materials to finished products,” he said.

“It lifts productivity by introducing new equipment and new techniques, increases the capacities of the workforce, and diffuses these improvements into the wider economy, it generates formal employment, which in turn creates jobs.”

Speaking at the forum, Madam Aisha Abubakar, the Minister of State of Industry, Trade and Investment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria said 58 firms had registered to engage in car assembling plants in Nigeria and believed the ECOWAS Automotive Policy has inherent benefits that would accelerate the development of West Africa.

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