Photograph — Volkswagen

Giant multinational automobile manufacturers, Volkswagen Group on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ghanaian government to begin the construction of a Volkswagen assembling plant in the country. The MOU was signed during a meeting between top officials of the Ghanaian government and representatives of the automobile giant led by its Sub-Saharan Region head, Mr Thomas Schaefer.

The MOU was inked by both parties in the presence of the German Chancellor who is on a three-nation visit to West Africa. The MOU was  on establishing a vehicle assembly facility and to assess the feasibility of a modern mobility concept for Ghana.

The immediate effect of this deal is wide-reaching and one that would help Ghanaians gain ample knowledge and experience in the automobile industry, as the company also plans to actualize its car-sharing idea in all African countries.

“We continue to work with the German Government on development initiatives and are as committed to Africa as they are,” said Thomas Schaefer after signing the MOU. “We hope to partner with the German Government in providing training facilities and development opportunities in all the countries that we are operational in Sub-Saharan Africa,” he continued.

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo is keen to see his country develop into a self-sustaining nation, and has unveiled an initiative – Ghana Beyond Aid – that will make the nation safe for investment. This new agreement will improve Ghana’s economy as more jobs will be created for its teeming young population. The country has a population of about 30 million and a mildly stable growth rate of about 2.8%.

The first set of locally assembled cars will hit the roads in Ghana early 2019, making it an important country for the Volkswagen business in the whole West Africa region.

“I assure Volkswagen and its local assembler in Ghana of the full support of the government in creating an enabling environment and incentive framework to make their investment a major success,” said President Akufo-Addo while addressing newsmen in Accra.

With the establishment of Volkswagen assembly plant in Ghana, its plants in Africa increase to six. With plants in South Africa, Algeria, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and now Ghana, Volkswagen’s TRANSFORM 2025+ brand strategy to become a colossus in the car manufacturing industry by 2025 has received a boost.

Merkel’s fruitful visit

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Africa is already reaping fruit as news of the establishment with the news of the Volkswagen assembly plant in Ghana. Apparently, it didn’t take long for her to fulfill the promises she made during a meeting of the European Union leaders in Brussels in late 2017. Merkel was accompanied by a high-level business delegation to discuss potential trade deals in Africa.

Top on the agenda of the German chancellor is the stopping migration, a malady that has become more significant in Africa and Europe in recent years. Rising migration of Africans to Europe has been at the fore of many discussions by leaders of the European Union. One of the ways through which these EU leaders hope to stop the migration conundrum is through the creation of job opportunities and provision of support to African countries.

Beyond the turn around for the automobile industry in Ghana, a joint venture between Robert Bosch Packaging Technology GmbH and ASPIRx will also see both companies supply technologies for the construction of a vaccine factory in Ghana. Voith Hydro Holding GmbH & Co. KG and Tabcon Limited also penned a deal to supply technologies for the construction of a hybrid solar/hydro power plant in Ghana boosting the country’s plan to improve energy in the country.

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