The Ministry of Trade and Industry is on course to significantly reduce
Ghana’s import bill with the implementation of the Ghana Automotive
Manufacturing Development Programme. Ghana’s import bill on the
average annually exceeds 10 billion dollars.
In 2018 for example, the total imports amounted to about 12 Billion
dollars. The top 30 imports constitute 57% of the import bill. Among
the top three imported commodities or items were Motor Cars and
Vehicles for transportation of goods which represented about 12.5% of
Ghana’s total import bill for the same year.
In addition, out of all vehicles imported annually, only about 10
percent are new vehicles and a significant number of the imported
vehicles are older than 10 years. But sector Minister, Hon. Alan
Kyerematen is optimistic of a significant change under the Ministry’s
Strategic Anchor Industrial Initiatives, which includes the Vehicle
Assembly and Components Manufacturing.
Already global vehicle giant Volkswagen has unveiled a new set of
vehicles assembled in Ghana by Ghanaian engineers working in
partnership with their foreign counterparts with some of the brand
new vehicles selling at sixty nine thousand cedis.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, Mr. Kyerematen indicated that as
a response to the unsustainable huge import bill situation, the Ministry
of Trade and Industry in early 2017 identified Ten Strategic Sectors to
be developed as the new Growth Poles for the Ghanaian economy.’
Among these Ten Strategic Sectors under the Strategic Anchor
Industrial Initiative included Vehicle Assembly and Components
This programme was not only to provide opportunity for import
substitution but also to diversify the Ghanaian economy which is
overly dependent on few raw commodities such as Cocoa and Gold,
and currently Crude Oil’ he stressed. According to him despite the
skepticism, the government signed a memorandum of understanding
with Volkswagen group in 2018 which is already bearing fruit with the
assembly of cars in Ghana. ‘again a number of interventions such as Component Manufacturing in partnership with our local auto
technicians; Vehicle Financing through the local Banks and other
financial institutions; access to Industrial Infrastructure to be
established in collaboration with the private sector; and Skills Training
and Technology Transfer through Ghanaian Universities, have all been
outlined in the new Ghana Automotive Development Policy to ensure
that Ghana harness the most benefits from these investments, Mr.
President Akufo Addo who officially unveiled the new VW vehicles
directed all public agencies to source garments, textiles and vehicles
from domestic producers. According to him the Chief of Staff has
been directed to ensure all ministries, agencies and departments give
first preference to the acquisition of locally assembled vehicles when
public funds are used to buy vehicles.