Volkswagen and Ghana have signed a memorandum of understanding with a view to establishing a vehicle assembly facility in the African country.
Thomas Schaefer, managing director of Volkswagen South Africa and head of the Sub-Saharan region for the German brand, signed the memorandum with Alan Kyerenmaten, Ghana’s minister of trade and industry, in the presence of Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany.
The agreement, which will also see VW assess the feasibility of a modern “Mobility Concept” (in the form of an integrated mobility solution possibly involving car sharing, ride hailing and shuttle services), will furthermore include developing a fully fledged sales and service network in the country as well as establishing a training academy for production and after sales.
In turn, VW says the Ghanaian government has undertaken to develop a comprehensive automotive industry policy that will “incentivise and facilitate vehicle manufacturing and assembly” in the country.
“We are impressed with the determination and desire of the Ghanaian government to develop a motor industry. As the second biggest economy in West Africa, Ghana is the ideal next building block in our Sub-Saharan Africa development strategy,” said Schaefer.
“The realisation of the MOU should see our assembly locations increase from four to five; the other locations are in South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda and Nigeria. Our long-term commitment to this region is real and sustainable. We believe that our committed actions and delivery of the last two years are proof of this,” he added.
Schaefer said that the first locally assembled vehicles would likely be on the road in “early 2019”.
Volkswagen has had a presence in Ghana for the past 20 years, with Universal Motors Limited operating as its official importer since 2005.