ECOWAS Moves to Develop Regional Automotive Industry Policy Framework

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ABUJA – (ECOWAS Secretariat Report) – Experts and representative of the Ministries of Industry from Member States of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have commenced a 2-day meeting on Wednesday 24th October, 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria with the aim of validating the ECOWAS Automotive Industry Policy Framework.

The report issued by the ECOWAS Communication Division on Thursday October 25, 2018 indicates that 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.

In his welcome address to participants at the commencement of the meeting, 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. He cited the development of the automotive industry in Nigeria as an example of the impact which the industry can have on the region through creation of jobs for the youth, reduction of poverty and improvement on the economy.

“Apart from Nigeria which 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.

He further indicated that it is for this reason that he has recommended the creation of a regional motor vehicle production system that is characterized by a high degree of regional integration and interdependence.

The representative of the African Development Bank, Anthony Simpasa in his remarks at the event mentioned that the bank is supporting the ECOWAS Automotive Industry Policy through the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation Fund. Simpasa highlighted the importance of the policy in relation to the bank’s “Industrialize Africa and Integrate Africa” scheme goals, saying the proposed project fits into its regional integration policy and strategy as it can create the regional value chains that would stimulate industrialization and competitiveness in Africa.

The reviewed ECOWAS Automotive Industry Policy Framework will be submitted to the Ministers of Industries from ECOWAS Member States before being forwarded to the Heads of States and Government for their approval.