by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – NISSAN believes the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) provides a platform to continue the growth trajectory and impact of the automotive industry on the continent.
The car maker is participating at the Intra-African Trade Fair 2021 (IATF), which focuses on AfCFTA.
Mike Whitfield, Managing Director, Nissan Africa Regional Business Unit, said although Africa was seeing booming population growth and rapid urbanisation, it lagged behind significantly in motorisation rate, which will grow from 1,1 million to 5-million vehicles by 2035.
“To capitalise on the impact AfCFTA can have in unlocking our economic potential, we need to create automotive hubs to begin trading regionally and then across Africa, as well as provide safe and affordable mobility solutions on the continent,” he said.
Nissan has long been a supporter of the automotive industry’s development in Africa.
With several decades of operations on the continent and a footprint spanning 48 markets, the company has invested in setting up manufacturing and assembly facilities to create a sub-regional hubs in the market.
This includes 100 percent Nissan investment manufacturing operations in Egypt and South Africa in addition to assembly facilities in Ghana and Nigeria.
The South African operation, which recently began producing the all-new Nissan Navara after a R3 billion (US$193088730) investment in plant upgrades and skills development, serves as a gateway to the remainder of the continent, with a vision to grow exports beyond the region.
“Our success at the Rosslyn Plant in South Africa is a proof point for the potential of the African automotive manufacturing industry,” said Kabelo Rabotho, Managing Director, Nissan South Africa.
“We’ve shown the potential to innovate, create world-class products, and positively impact the communities in which we operate. This is the standard we will hold for all of our new ventures on the continent,” Rabotho said.
IATF is the premier trade event in Africa.
Throughout the week-long event, government, industry and non-profit stakeholders will have pivotal discussions on the implementation of AfCFTA – the creation of single market for goods and services across 55 countries, aimed at boosting trade and investment.
– CAJ News