The South African minister of trade and industry, Ebrahim Patel, says that
Africa needs to boost its production of vehicles from the current 1 million to 5 million a year.
“We need a world-class machinery assembly and stop bringing in second-hand vehicles. We [are] currently producing one million vehicles per annum, we must add 4 million more and strengthen trade policies,” Patel said at the Automotive Forum at the Intra-African Trade Fair in Durban.
He made reference to South Africa, Morocco, Ghana and Nigeria as the continent’s chief car manufacturers.
The minister also touched upon the need to create a commercially viable market for multinational corporations, saying that Africa has over 20 assembly plants.
Meanwhile, Ghana’s deputy minister of trade, Herbert Krapa, told the delegates that local demand must be stimulated, saying that his country’s industrial agenda is based on past experience.
“Ghana will tackle the approach from two perspectives, through industrial agenda and lessons learned from the past … As a government, we are willing to come in and drive the agenda of the AFCFTA [African Continental Free Trade Area]. There must be a tariff adjustment regime and build a domestic auto industry that will reap the benefits,” Krapa said.
The Intra-African Trade Fair acts as a platform to boost the African Free Trade Agreement. The fair is organized by the African Export-Import Bank and the African Union.