Ms. Dorothee Dinkelaker, Head of Cooperation at the German Embassy, says automotive players need to upskill their workforce.
She said manpower training would lead to sustainable jobs for future young men and women in Ghana.
Ms Dinkelaker was speaking at the opening of the West African Vehicle Academy (WAVA), an automotive technical training center in Accra.
The €1.8 million facility will develop trainees’ skills and knowledge and enable them to meet the challenges of modern automotive maintenance, diagnostics and repair.
The Academy is a non-profit venture of Bosch Automotive Aftermarket in Ghana, Rana Motors and German Development Cooperation through its develoPPP program.
The challenge of the shortage of technical skills in the automotive sector has further amplified the need for technological development of the modern motor vehicle.
Ms. Dinkelaker said the joint venture for the Academy was to boost Ghana’s automotive industry as a competitive sub-regional hub.
She said Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) has been at the core of German-Ghanaian cooperation for many years, providing holistic and demand-driven TVET.
She said that over the past five years, Germany’s contribution to TVET reforms amounted to more than €50 million.
Ms. Dinkelaker said the support to the TVET sector was aimed at anchoring quality and practical relevance in the Ghanaian TVET system, given the potential of the private sector and policy actors working together.
The head of cooperation said that with their support to the Commission for TVET (COTVET), they have been able to implement competence-based training, improve the skills of teachers and structurally include the private sector in the Workplace Learning (WEL) to ensure demand orientation.
“We also support initiatives led by companies such as the West African Vehicle Academy with support programs such as the develoPPP public-private partnership program,” he added.
She said, from the side of German development cooperation, “we look forward to continuing to support the sector through various programs, and we would certainly be delighted to continue to be part of this great joint venture with Bosch and Rana Motors”. .
Nearly 1,000 trainees have already taken part in the various courses, totaling an impressive number of more than 3,500 training days.
Mr. Kassem Odamyat, Chief Operating Officer of T Rana Motors, said the impetus towards the initiative was driven by their strong internal belief in training and empowering people, as well as the community at large. .
He said: “We are also keenly aware of our industry’s suffering with the pervasive ‘trial and error approach’, caused by uncertified mechanics who end up wasting customers’ patience, money and time – without any glimpse of satisfactory results.”
The COO said that from the start of operations, the training capacity was used by the Rana Motors service network, the Bosch service network, as well as vocational training schools.
“We believe in an open source approach to benefit teachers/instructors with our training course materials, presentations, handouts and encourage them to use it for their own training,” he said.
He said that currently WAVA has the support of all of its sponsors, but the idea is for the entity to be self-sustaining with a strong and sustainable business model in place.
Mr. Ghislain Noumbessy, Managing Director of Robert Bosch Ghana, said that Bosch had trained thousands of craftsmen over the past seven years in Ghana and had invested directly in training.
He said the facility would help mechanics acquire and improve their skills in servicing/diagnosing and repairing modern vehicles in Ghana and the sub-region.
He expressed his gratitude to the partners who contributed to the realization of the project