ACCRA, (The Southern African Times) – The ceremony took place at Toyota Tsusho Manufacturing Company Limited at Freezones Enclave, Tema. Ichiro Kashitani, president and chief executive officer of Toyota Tsusho Corporation, announced in 2019 that the company will start assembling its vehicles in Ghana from August 2020.
The decision to establish the assembling plant in Ghana was announced at the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7), in Japan, where President Muhamadu Buhari had, in a meeting with Kshitani, asked Toyota to establish a plant in Nigeria.
Akufo-Addo had said the signing of the MoU with Toyota Tsusho falls in line with the vision of making Ghana an automotive hub for West Africa and the larger African market.
He said Ghana is the base to reach the larger African market with the coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Speaking at the event, Akufo-Addo said he is pleased that the siting of the plant has become a reality despite claims by some persons that it was only a hoax “which will never see the light of day”.
Akufo-Addo said: “Government attaches great importance to the development of the automobile industry in Ghana.
“By assembling and ultimately producing cars in Ghana, the importation of second hand used cars in Ghana will be reduced and at the same time, the export of made in Ghana cars to other African markets will earn our nation the much needed foreign exchange.”
Also speaking, Alan Kyerematen, Ghana 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.
In recent times, Ghana, Nigeria’s neighbouring West African country, seems to be the preferred destination of foreign investors.