Open Letter to AU: AU Should Commit Members to boost African Assembled Vehicles

Dear AU,

The current 54 African Countries spend billions and trillions to buy new and used vehicle from foreign countries especially Japan, Germany, USA, ENGLAND and now China catching up to dominate the Auto Market.

Materials used to manufacture cars are cheaply got from African countries Like DR. Congo, South Africa, Tanzania etc. Even the little got from the sold minerals is mismanaged by greed Politician to buy weapons to kill locals; bribe opposing forces in their endeavor to cling onto Power. Some individuals with enterprising skills have come up to establish manufacturing plants or assembles cars fit for the Local Market with little or no government support.

In Uganda, Kiira Motors assembled Kayoola Mini Bus and Kiira SMACK SUV but none of the model is available on the market for sale. Nigeria through Innosson Vehicle Manufacturing Company has crafted local, durable and environmental friendly cars; the same to Kantanka Automobile in Ghana fully assembling cars for the African Terrains with SUVs, PickUps, Mini Vans already available on the Market. LIBYA, South Africa, Kenya, among African countries have car assembling plants but less utilized.

Unfortunately, 90% of the car parts are imported outside Africa. This means that the cost of production will be high for the final product. Hence a buyer will prefer to buy a cheaper European or Chinese made car. Africa has regional blocks like SADC, ECOWAS and East African Community with goals to transform communities Socially, Politically, Technologically, Culturally among others.

Foreign investors in Africa are given unreasonable tax Holidays like in Uganda for 5 years, accessible roads and reliable access to funding. But to a fellow African less or nothing is extended to boost their operations. Those engaging in car assembling struggle to partner with foreign Investors to fulfill their dream.

If African Union is ready to technologically transform African countries, the body should commit its member to buy a reasonable percentage of AFRICAN manufactured or assembled cars available on the local market. The regional Blocks can be allowed to specialize in the production of car parts. Say SADC block manufacture Engines; ECOWAS make the Car Body and EAC manufacture tyres and other accessories. This will create Jobs; enhance skill acquisition and cut costs since car parts will be locally procured, hence making the final products being sold at reasonable prices affordable to the local community and Government agencies. The African Union must act for African transformation but not massaging AFRICAN dictators cling on power and dining with former colonialist in their endeavor to deplete Africa Natural Resources.

It is time for the African Continent to take advantage of the current global auto-market transformation to reshape the continent and bring more jobs to the people.

Thank you very much for your attention.

Source: Asuman Balaba

(Journalist/blogger/Uganda)

 

 

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