Africa flexes automotive muscle

Africa is beginning to flex its automotive muscle and the past year has seen significant activity by some local automakers to involve themselves in the growing new market – Volkswagen, in particular, has been active and then are developments such as the planned Peugeot assembly operation in Namibia.

To capitalise on, and co-ordinate, this growth, Kigali, Rwanda has been identified as the host for the inaugural annual African Automotive Manufacturing Symposium aimed at facilitating the development of an intra-African automotive manufacturing supply chain.


This ministerial level symposium, which is endorsed by the African Union, will facilitate outcomes based dialogue between key role-players concerned with Africa’s automotive industrialisation and the journey towards sustainable economic growth.

Organisers have confirmed the event will take place over two days at the Kigali International Convention Centre in Rwanda, on July 22-23, 2020.


Inkanyezi Events Pty Ltd CEO, Andrew Binning said the symposium was unique in its focus on actual automotive manufacturing.

“The rise of income levels in many African countries and the emergence of a middle class makes Africa the final frontier for the global automotive industry.


“What is essential is regional integration is developed to ensure manufacturing capability and jobs are created in African countries and the continent is the beneficiary of this market opportunity and not simply a dumping ground for used, or cheap imported vehicles,” he says.

“Trade and Investment Ministers from relevant African countries will present their policies, goals and plans for the future of the automotive and manufacturing industry;  while automotive and investment organisations will share ways in which they would support these plans”

The symposium is set to become a highlight on the African trade calendar from its inaugural edition in Rwanda  and could rotate to other African host countries. The symposium and networking engagements are the key features of the event but premium exhibition space is also available.


Binning said interested manufacturers, material providers, service companies, support and funding agencies should contact the organisers for opportunities to reach the African manufacturing collective.

“The African Free trade Agreement and the widely accepted benefits of regional integration, synergy and intra-African trade position this high-level inter-ministerial symposium to produce a collective understanding around how participating countries and their industries, with support of global automotive manufacturers and funding partners, can benefit and contribute,” says Binning.

AU Trade and Investment Commissioner Albert Muchanga said the AU had prioritised regional development.

“The unit is promoting regional value chains particularly the development of the automotive industry, which has the ability to contribute to the employment and structural growth challenges of the continent.”

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