ECOWAS develops regional automotive industry policy25 Oct, 2018
L-R Fall Abou (ADB), Anthony Simpasa, Mamadou Traoré and Mr. Messan Lawson-Hechelli, ECOWAS Director for Industry
Experts and representative of the Ministries of Industry from Member States of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) commenced a 2-day meeting on 24th October 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria with the aim of validating the ECOWAS automotive industry policy framework.
The ECOWAS automotive industry policy framework seeks to boost the automotive industry in the region by building the capacity of Member States in the area of vehicle assembling, production and marketing.
Welcoming the participants, the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Industry and Private Sector Promotion, Mamadou Traoré stated that the development of the automotive industry policy for the region is as a result of the decision reached by the ECOWAS Ministers of Industry.
The Commissioner cited the development of the automotive industry in Nigeria as an example of the impact the industry can have on the region by creating jobs for the youth, reducing poverty and improving its economy.
‘Apart from Nigeria that has developed a national automotive industry development plan as part of its industrial policy, other Member States of ECOWAS are still importing vehicles and only very few are assembling trucks’, he said.
It is for this reason that Commissioner Traoré recommended the creation of a regional motor vehicle production system that is characterized by a high degree of regional integration and interdependence.
Representing the African Development Bank, Mr. Anthony Simpasa stated that the bank is supporting the ECOWAS Automotive Industry Policy through the Korea-Africa Economic cooperation Fund.
Mr. Simpasa highlighted the importance of the policy as it is crucial to the bank’s ‘Industrialize Africa’ and ‘Integrate Africa’ goals. ‘The proposed project also fits into its Regional Integration Policy and Strategy by creating regional value chains, stimulating industrialization and competitiveness in Africa’, he said.
The reviewed ECOWAS Automotive Industry Policy Framework will be submitted to Ministers of Industries from ECOWAS Member States before it is forward to Heads of States and Government for their approval.