We are here to formalise and regulate the auto industry — GADC
Kojo Annobil says the auto industry can be a catalyst for the huge economic take-off of the country if well structured, formalized and properly regulated
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We are here to formalise and regulate the auto industry — GADC

As the future looks promising for the auto industry in the country, stakeholders in the industry including the government last year converged to form the Ghana Automotive Development Centre (GADC).

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Under the auspices of the Ministry for Trade and Industry, the centre embodies representatives of the Ghana Standard Authority, Drivers and Vehicles Licensing Authority (DVLA), Customs Division of the GRA and other players in the auto sector.

The Centre’s main role is to actualize the vision of the Ghana Automotive Development Policy (GADP) and this is what Mr Kojo Annobil, the head of GADC and his team are working hard to realise.

“The centre was formed to create a platform for players in the auto industry to address their concerns and issues; to see through the realization of the GADP and seek the interest of local assemblers in the industry,” Mr Annobil told the Graphic Business in an interview at the Centre’s head office in Accra.

He added that one of the centre’s mandate is to work with stakeholders to cut down the use of savage and over-aged vehicles while carving out modalities to make locally assembled and imported vehicles very affordable in the country.

“We accommodate all stakeholders related to auto in the country to ensure the formalization and complete regulation of the industry,” he stated.

GADP

The Ghana Automotive and Development Policy (GADP) also known as ‘The Auto Policy’ was fashioned out by the Ministry of Trade and Industry in 2019 and was geared towards making Ghana a fully integrated and competitive industrial hub of the automotive industry in the West African sub-region.

It also aims to generate highly skilled jobs in automotive assembly and the manufacture of components and parts, with spillover effects into other sectors of the economy; while establishing an asset-based vehicle financing scheme for locally manufactured vehicles to ensure affordability for vehicle buyers.

This is expected to improve balance of payments through competitive import substitution and export market development while also improving vehicle safety and environmental standards.

Standards and Homologation

Mr Annobil disclosed to this paper the launch of a mechanism dubbed the ‘auto-code’ by his outfit in conjunction with the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA) that sets the standard for the importation of vehicles in the country as well as those assembled in the country.

He revealed that his outfit ensures that vehicles coming into the country and those locally assembled will have to go through a process to meet the minimum standard test and must be homologated to ascertain it quality and road worthiness.

He noted that his outfit has put in place measures and regulations to ensure that such processes to ensure the safety and quality of vehicles will be strictly adhered to.

“We are moving away from age old vehicles to newer ones and locally assembled ones, we are also gearing up for the manufacturing of vehicles in the country including electric ones,” he stated.

Vehicle Financing

He said his outfit will also establish a vehicle financing scheme to facilitate the purchase of vehicles through a credit system and promote a cashless system of purchasing vehicles in the country.

He admitted that such financing scheme will need the collaborative efforts of financial institutions in the country and all stakeholders in the industry.

“We are like the anchor that anchors all stakeholders in the auto industry and we are ready for this arduous novel task,” he stated.

Mr Annobil says he is counting on his experience which is close to two decades in the auto industry to solve the myriad of challenges bedeviling the industry.

He, however, stated that one key measure of ensuring a properly defined vehicle financing system will be a reliable data of vehicles imported and those which are locally assembled; coupled with the data of customers and Ghanaians including their source of income or finance.

Training and Skills Centre

He revealed that his outfit will setup a skills training centre near it office to upgrade the skills of mechanics, technicians, field workers and other auxiliary workers in the industry.

The centre will also train trainees in the latest vehicle technology and aesthetics while honing their skills in the assembling of vehicles for the local market.

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“We will also create a showroom for locally assembled vehicles in Ghana and brand such vehicles to help customers make their choices and the best decisions,’ he stated.

GADC

The Ghana Automotive Development Centre (GADC), a one-stop-shop for the coordination and delivery of automotive services in the country was inaugurated in January last year.

The $8-million office complex has been established to provide office space for policy support, vehicle financing, investment and customs facilitation, training and skills development, vehicle testing and certification.

Council

A 19-member council, composed of stakeholders from both the private and public sector, was commissioned with members drawn from both public and private sector entities.

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Some private sector organisations with representatives on the council included the Ghana Automobile Dealers Association, the African Association of Automobile Manufacturers, Ghana National Association of Garages and the Vehicle and Asset Dealers Union of Ghana.

State institutions such as the Ghana International Trade Corporation (GITC), Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) as well as the ministries of Trade and Industry, Transport, Finance Employment and Labour and Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), are all part of the council.

The council was inaugurated as a requirement under the Ghana Automotive Development Policy(GADP), with the mandate to develop an effective economic consultation structure to effectively address any issues related to automotive assembly activities and to provide input into any policy review exercise.

The council is further required to promote the harmonious and integrated development and growth of vehicle assembly, automotive components manufacturing and their related trading activities in Ghana and externally, in collaboration with the key stakeholders in the industry.

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