The Senior Minister Hon. Yaw Osafo Maafo, has disclosed government’s plan to encourage the use of new cars by providing incentive packages to local and foreign automobile companies in order to attract new vehicles into the country.
According to him, about 89 percent of cars used in Ghana are second hand vehicles , whilst 10 percent are new cars.
This was revealed when the new Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, His Excellency Tsutomu Himeno, paid a courtesy call on the Senior Minister, Hon. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, at his Office on Tuesday, February 5, 2019.
The two officials discussed matters of mutual interest to Ghana and Japan, and afforded both sides the opportunity to engage on a number of issues.
The reasons for his visit was to follow-up on His Excellency the President Nana Akufo-Addo’s visit to Japan last year, where he invited the Japanese government and the business community to invest in Ghana, and to take advantage of the automobile manufacturing development policy the Ghana Government has initiated.
Another reason, was for the Ambassador to officially informed the Government of Ghana about establishment of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) office in Accra.
Fulfilling a request made by the Prime Minister of Japan in line with a written proposal from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), for Japanese government support for the College of Engineering was also part of the reasons for his visit.
The visit was also to obtain more details about the proposal from KNUST for Japanese Government support for the College of Engineering in terms of technical and skills development training at the premier Technology University in Ghana
Hon. Osafo Maafo, clearly indicated that government has initiated the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Development Policy and some proposals have been received from well-known automotive companies in the world for the establishment of vehicle assembly plant.
He encouraged the Japan government to grab opportunities in the automobile manufacturing industry.
Indicating that Ghana has recently attracted considerable interest from major global vehicle manufacturers, in response to Government’s prioritisation of the automotive sector as a key strategic anchor of Ghana’s industrialization plan.
In the discussion, the Senior Minister encouraged the Japanese Ambassador to support the implementation of the Public Sector Reforms as a key mandate under his Office, which seeks to improve efficiency and service delivery for citizens and the private sector.
The World Bank, He said, is partly funding the Ghana’s Public Sector Reforms and urged the Japanese government which has an efficient public service delivery system to assist with the funding and implementation of the reform.
The Senior Minister was elated about the visit as a positive effort in building mutual relations with Japan, and called for a deepen relationship between the two countries for economic growth and development.
His Excellency Tsutomu Himeno, who was accompanied by Dr. Masamichi Yamashita in charge of international development, indicated that the Japanese government is prepared to partner the government of Ghana in its industrialization agenda through investment by the Japanese business community.
The Ambassador who acted on the request by the Prime Minister of Japan to support the College, assured the Senior Minister of Japan providing the needed support to the College of Engineering.
Ghana is currently one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with a highly favourable investment climate, relatively efficient and rapidly expanding infrastructure (energy, ports, roads and rail). The pursuit of industrialization, places Ghana in a strategic position to become an automotive manufacturing hub in the ECOWAS sub-region.
Details on Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
JETRO is a Japanese government-related organization that works to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world.
The JETRO that once had an office in Ghana in the 1970s and 1980s, was originally established in 1958 to promote Japanese exports abroad.
JETRO’s core focus in the twenty-first (21st) century has shifted towards promoting foreign direct investment into Japan and helping small to medium size Japanese firms maximize their global export potential.
In order to attract Japanese investors into the country is to establish the JETRO office in Ghana as a way of building close collaboration with Ghana and other African countries.