Nissan has signed a memorandum of understanding with Ghana, confirming its plan to establish an automotive assembly plant in the West African nation.

The Japanese brand announced the plan in a statement after Alan Kyerematen, Ghana's minister of trade and industry, and Mike Whitfield, managing director of Nissan Group of Africa, signed the deal.

Nissan says it “aims to be the first carmaker to assemble vehicles in Ghana”. It’s not yet clear which vehicles the automaker plans to assemble in Ghana (the firm currently builds the NP200 and NP300 bakkies at its Rosslyn factory in South Africa) nor when production is scheduled to begin.

"Nissan is the most popular auto brand in Ghana because the quality of our products and services has won the trust of our customers," said Whitfield.

"We want to build on our leadership by supporting the government to create the environment for a successful automotive manufacturing industry in the country. 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.

Kyerematen said the government would work with Nissan “to create the necessary environment for the level of investment that will make Ghana's automotive sector a reality".

Whitfield added that "establishing a long-term automotive industrial development policy will give investors further confidence in Ghana".

"Properly administered automotive development policies can bring about structural economic change in a short time. We've seen this happening with our plants in South Africa and Nigeria," Whitfield said.

At the end of August 2018, Ghana signed a memorandum of understanding with Volkswagen with a view to establishing an assembly facility in the country.