ACCRA, Ghana – Ghana’s president Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo has officially opened a “state-of-the-art” Nissan Navara assembly plant in Tema, near Accra.
The opening ended a corporate journey started in 2018 when Nissan signed with the government to create the Ghana Automotive Development Policy.
Nissan, in 2020, selected Japan Motors – one of two long-standing distributors in Ghana – as its licensed assembler. Work on the extensive plant began soon afterwards and today (April 2022), 17 months later, the plant was commissioned by the president as the first Navara rolled off the assembly lines.
Nissan Africa’s MD Mike Whitfield told The Corner it was an emotional experience: “Less than eight months earlier the Rosslyn, South Africa, Nissan plant started Navara assembly. Without fear of contradiction, this is the most modern automotive plant anywhere in West Africa.”
The plant, he asserted, justified the three-way public-private partnership of Ghana, Japan Motors, and Nissan Africa.
“Japan Motors invested nine million US dollars, which would have been impossible without the security offered by Ghana’s progressive automotive industry development policy. That country is a benchmark for the African automotive industry which shows what can be done if there is will and vision.”
Japan Motors MD Salem Kalmoni’s grandfather started Japan Motors 100 years ago so, The Corner was told, the US $9-million investment showed his family’s commitment to Ghana, its government, and employment.
Kalmoni hoped vehicle assembly and automotive component production would anchor industry in Ghana.”