Japan to help establish car factories

JAPAN, the country commanding the largest share of motor vehicles populating the entire globe, is committing itself to assist Tanzania and the other East African Countries to start manufacturing cars locally.

The Deputy Head of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Tanzania, Mr Kuniaki Amatsu, reaffirmed his country’s commitment to support the East African Community’s integration process but especially in the area of automotive industry development.

Envoy Amatsu, who visited the East African Community Secretariat in Arusha, reiterated Japan’s readiness to continue close cooperation with the six-state regional bloc through the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

On the other hand, the study on how car manufacturing industry can be established in Tanzania and the other five countries making up the East African Community is in its final stages of completion, preparing the region to make its own motor vehicles here The EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sector, Mr Christophe Bazivamo, has called for fast-tracking of the study on automotive industry in the region so that the final study report with policy recommendations can be tabled before the Heads of State in April 2017.

“This exercise and the overall study is therefore crucial as it is intended to inform the EAC and potential private sector investors on policy options and modalities that should be adopted to drive automotive industry to the next level,’’ he said.

The EAC Deputy Secretary General made these remarks at the meeting with the Deputy Head of Japan International Cooperation (JICA), United Republic of Tanzania Office, Mr Kuniaki Amatsu who paid a courtesy call on him at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha.

Mr Bazivamo expressed his appreciation to JICA and the government of Japan for agreeing to provide financial and technical support for undertaking the study on automotive industry in the region.

The EAC official disclosed to Mr Amatsu that the Community has developed a regional industrialisation strategy which outlines a number of sectors to be promoted including iron and steel, metals; agro-processing, petrochemicals, gas and fertilisers. It is on the basis of this broad policy framework that the region has made a deliberate decision to promote the development of Automotive Industry, added Bavizamo.

‘’As a region, we have been motivated to develop the automotive industry as we consider it is crucial to provide the population and the business community with affordable means of transport.” Bazivamo informed JICA official that EAC leadership (both Summit and Council) is keen and aspire for the development of a competitive automotive sector in the region.

The courtesy call was also attended by the EAC Director of Productive, Mr Jean Baptiste Havugimana.

The 16th Summit of Heads of States held on 20th February 2015 directed the Council of Ministers to conduct a study on the modalities for the promotion of motor vehicle assembly in the region to stop importation of used motor vehicles and report to the 17th Summit.

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