The Ministry of Trade and Industry and the German International Cooperation on Wednesday signed a partnership agreement to promote the automotive sector and support the development of industrial parks in Ghana.
The partnership aims at creating sustainable jobs and livelihoods to overcome poverty and create perspectives for the future of the youth.
This would be done through the Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation “Invest for Jobs,” an initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Under the agreement, Ghana will receive a grant of over 540,000 Euros from the German Government to develop industrial parks and establish an Automotive Desk at the Ministry.
Ms Regina Bauerochse Barbosa, the Country Director of GIZ Ghana, signed the agreement on behalf of Germany, while Mr Patrick Yaw Nimo, the Chief Director at the Ministry, signed for Ghana, at a ceremony co-hosted by the German Ambassador and the Trade Minister in Accra.
The “Invest for Jobs” initiative will be implemented by the German Development Agency (GIZ) among other partners.
Mr Christoph Retzlaff, the German Ambassador to Ghana, said the German Cooperation was committed to supporting Ghana’s 10-point Industrial Transformation Agenda, through which local assembling of vehicles was expected to create at least 800 direct and 9,600 indirect jobs.
“Also, within this grant agreement, there will be support to local assembling of vehicles to create employment for more than 10,000 Ghanaians in the long run,” the Ambassador said.
He said the Automotive Desk to be created at the Ministry would serve as a one-stop shop for investors, and receive and evaluate applications and investment plans for auto assembly and component manufacturing in the country.
“The Ghana Automotive Development Programme will establish eight original equipment manufacturer companies,” he said.
Government, in 2017, launched a 10-point Industrial Transformation Agenda to expand the manufacturing sector, reduce unemployment and accelerate socio-economic development.
The third pillar of the Agenda; the Strategic Anchor Industries, was intended to position Ghana’s industrial landscape around certain industrial sectors and products.
These include prioritising investments into industrial parks and special economic zones for sectors such as automobile and vehicle assembly.
Mr Retzlaff said through the second component of the agreement, the German Government’s implementing agency, GIZ, was supporting the Ministry to develop selected industrial zones and parks.
Foreseen activities, he said, were tours for potential investors and development of promotional videos to showcase the industrial park landscape.
Opportunities such as seminars and workshops to promote public-private sector dialogues would also be provided to both local and international companies.
“I am confident this intervention will help the industrial park development and enhance the automotive ecosystem in Ghana and, therefore, successfully create sustainable jobs,” he said.
Mr Alan Kyerematen, the Minister of Trade and Industry, said the Government was working to develop Ghana as an Automotive Hub for West Africa in collaboration with leading vehicle manufacturing companies such as Volkswagen.
He said the Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation would, therefore, help to realise its Industrial Transformation Agenda.
Mr Kyerematen commended the German Government for its continuous support to Ghana, especially towards the successful implementation of the Agenda.