CAIRO - 12 November 2023: The European Union Commission supports Africa's transition to safer cars, according to EU Commission Representative, Pablo Villafuerte.
Villafuerte stressed the responsibility to ensure that used cars exported from the EU are environmentally friendly and safe for human health.
The EU has adopted legislation regarding end-of-life vehicles and prohibited the export of cars that are not environmentally friendly, he added.
He emphasized on the importance of applying the car fitness certificates by 2035, meaning every car exported from Europe must undergo certification that it is roadworthy, with the certificate being part of the accompanying documents.
This came during a panel discussion entitled,”Used and grey vehicle imports - the reality, the journey and the opportunity in a just transition” during the second day of the African Automotive Conference held at the Intra-African Trade Fair, IATF2023.
The IATF2023, which is the third edition of the Intra-African Trade Fair, provides a platform for businesses to access an integrated African market of over 1.3 billion people with a GDP of over $3.5 trillion created under the African Continental Free Trade Area, according to the African Union.
For his part, Luqman Mamudu from TransTech Consulting highlighted the challenge in Ghana's car program as balancing consumer preferences and manufacturers' needs.
Mamudu stated that used cars are competitive, especially given consumer preferences for their lower prices.
He noted that used cars face safety and quality challenges, and addressing this requires resources for monitoring, emphasizing that reducing used cars could negatively impact the economy.
Michael Okyere, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry in Ghana, stated that Ghana imports 100,000 cars annually, with 90 percent being used cars aged six months and above.
He mentioned Ghana's robust mechanism to address car risks, including strict policies such as biannual inspections of cars and drivers to ensure vehicle eligibility for road use.
Okyere stated that most cars arrive in Ghana from the parallel market without regulations and monitoring but are still subjected to inspection.
He pointed to the imposed fines on cars over 10 years old, encouraging car assembly in Ghana or the importation of new cars.
Kojo Annobil from the Center for Automotive Development in Ghana mentioned that the center provides services to the government to address car assembly challenges by monitoring assembly operations in factories.
He emphasized the difficulty in replacing used cars with new ones due to their high costs, stating that creating a market for exchanging cars will expand the automotive market.
Furthermore, Reuben Gisore, Representative of the African Organization for Standardization stressed the need for standards for used cars, with 80 percent of the car in good condition.
He highlighted the importance of standards for evaluating used cars, their safety, and environmental impact, adding that mobility and product transportation are crucial, and the absence of cars to transport products poses a significant challenge.
Gisore mentioned that in 2019, the application of the first standards began with the support of Afreximbank, assessing what is expected from cars, their characteristics, environmental impact, and types of fuels used.