VW signs memorandums in Africa

During German chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent visit to Africa, Volkswagen signed two memorandums of understanding with the governments of Ghana and Nigeria.

The stated goal is to build plants in both countries and to explore the development of new mobility solutions in Ghana. The document was signed in Ghana in the presence of vice president Mahamudu Bawumia. The Nigerian minister of industry, trade and investment, Dr Okey Enelamah attended the signing ceremony in Abuja. The head of the Volkswagen Sub-Saharan region, Thomas Schaefer, signed both agreements on behalf of Volkswagen.

In signing the memorandums of understanding, the Volkswagen brand continued to expand its engagement in the Sub-Sahara region of Africa.

An assembly plant is scheduled to be built in Ghana. This would also include developing a sales and service network in Ghana as well as establishing a training academy for production and after sales.

In addition, Volkswagen undertook to commence with a feasibility study in Ghana for integrated mobility solutions which will include a review of the commercial viability of introducing rental, car sharing, ride hailing and shuttle services by way of a Ghanaian subsidiary of VWSA (Volkswagen South Africa), or the appointment of a local service provider.

In turn, the Ghanaian government undertook to develop a comprehensive Ghana automotive industry policy which will incentivize vehicle manufacturing in Ghana. This includes a preferential procurement policy for locally assembled vehicles.

In the memorandum of understanding signed in Nigeria, Volkswagen has committed itself to expanding automaking operations on a step-by-step basis and to turning Nigeria into an automotive hub on the western coast of Africa over the long term.

This will include developing a training academy in conjunction with the German government which will train the initial employees and also provide broader technical training for the community in automotive skills. It is also intended that a comprehensive Volkswagen vehicle and service network is developed in the country subject to commercial viability.

In return, the Nigerian government has pledged to accelerate the passage of Nigerian automotive policies. This includes the gradual transition from the importation of used cars to the manufacture and distribution of new passenger vehicles.