On Thursday, 12 Ghanaian technicians will be graduating from Nissan’s plant, ready to spearhead the launch of Nissan’s assembly plant in their own country.
For the last 12 weeks they have been learning the finer points of how to assemble the Japanese automaker’s legendary Navara, which is currently being built in Africa at the Rosslyn plant in South Africa and expected to start rolling off the assembly lines from the end of this month and on sale across African markets in the months that follow.
The comprehensive training programme course will equip the trainees with the ability to assemble the new Nissan Navara and learn the principles of the Nissan Production Way. This is to ensure that the numerous quality control measures are enforced and allow them to help train the next generation of Ghanaian engineers to assembly these vehicles in their home country.
“The production of a vehicle is intricate, so the training course we have been offering will not be the end of our work in supporting the Ghanaian team’s capabilities,” says Shafick Solomons, Plant Director
“It’s one of the many steps we are taking to support a sustainable relationship between South Africa and Ghana going forward. We will continue to share resources and knowledge, as well as training to make sure that the Ghanaian team is as agile and efficient as any team in the rest of the world all working towards and adhering to Nissan’s global production standard, the Nissan Production Way.”
The preparation for the Ghana Assembly plant follows Nissan’s ground-breaking Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Ghana that was signed during the initial stages of working towards the Ghana Automotive Development policy.
“This is a wonderful moment for us as a global company with incredible African roots,” says Mike Whitfield, Managing Director of Nissan. “We set out to build a vehicle in Africa for Africa by Africans with the Navara, which we are about to achieve from our Nissan South African plant.
“Now we are laying the groundwork to do just that in Ghana, as we help the people and government of Ghana begin to realise their dream of creating a Sustainable Automotive Industry in their country.
“We have always said that we wanted to work with countries on the continent who want to partner with us in this regard. We were the first movers in Nigeria and we are looking at other countries in Africa where there is similar potential, which is both exciting and timely as we emerge from the economic ravages of the COVID 19 pandemic.”
The Navara production facility is in Accra, the capital of Ghana, and will be 100% Ghanaian operated by the Japan Motors Trading Company (JMTC), which invested US $3 million into its construction, following Ghana’s drafting of its automotive development policy to encourage investment in the sector.
“Nissan and Japan Motors support the Ghana Automotive Development Policy, which is why we want to do our part in creating jobs and stimulating African economies. We both want to create a new future for the sector, and change the lives of the people who build, test and drive these vehicles,” says Salem Kalmoni, Managing Director Japan Motors.