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AFCFTA: Nissan Boss Reiterates the Import of Necessary Legislative Frameworks by African Nations

… Says AfCFTA would Lift Over 100 Million Africans out Of Poverty and Create Regional Networks of Vehicle and Component Manufacturers and

By:ROTIMI ASHER

Nigeria and other African nations have once again been reminded that putting in place relevant legislative framework is a key to maximizing the potential economic benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA).

Mike Whitefield, Managing director of Nissan Motor Egypt and chairman of Nissan in Africa South, who rang the bellrecently during Nissan E-Prix held in Marrakesh, Morocco, projected that AfCFTA, if effectively implemented, could increase the combined GDP of Africa by $450 billion by 2035.

He said, ‘’Africa remains the last automotive frontier in the world, with a motorization rate of 42 vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants far below the global average of 182, which Nissan is working very hard through the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers(AAAM) to address.

‘’ As we  work hard to make AfCFTA a reality, there is no doubt of the potential ground breaking role that the automotive sector can play by creating regional networks of vehicle and component manufacturers.

‘’ An important part of this will be creating a coalition of the willing Africa’s governments to establish the necessary legislative frameworks to set standards, level the playing fields and encourage the necessary foreign investment.’’

According to him, electrification of Africa, will take place depending on precisely that same kind of shared vision and commitment between the public and the private sectors to make it possible.

Whitefield described the Formula E-Prix in Morocco as another plus for Nissan and the continent.

“Morocco,” he pointed out, “is one of Africa’s two significant automotive manufacturing hubs, along with South Africa, producing vehicles for the European export market,” adding, “Morocco, stands as a beacon of what can be achieved and how a successful local automotive industry can diversify its country’s economy and contribute hugely to its success by creating sustainable jobs and contributing to the balance of payments through exports.

‘’Hosting yet another successful E-Prix as Morocco has just done, shows everyone what can be achieved and provides a real glimpse into future carbon neutral world.

“The formula E series is a wonderful showcase for innovation in the electric vehicle field. It is a perfect fit for Nissan because we ‘ve been world leaders in this field starting with our Nissan LEAF and continuing now with Nissan  AMBITION 2030,which commits us unequivocally to an electric future.’’

It was the fifth time that the race has been held in the Moroccan capital. Nissan e-dams drivers SebastienBuemi and Maximilian Gunther enjoyed great success in the previous E-Prix. While Gunther managed a podium finish the last time the race was staged in 2020, Buemi won the inaugural Marrakesh E-Prix in 2016 and came second in 2018. The two drivers narrowly missed out on the qualifying duels this time.

The Nissan e.dams return to action later this month (July), when Formula E moves to New York, USA, for the next stage of the World Championship.

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