VDA supports sustainable development of the automotive industry in Africa

    Berlin, February 15, 2022

    Joint declaration of intent issued by African and European automotive associations – More trade and investment links between Europe and Africa

    Brussels – African and European automotive associations taking part at this year’s EU-Africa Business Forum have signed a joint declaration of intent in the presence of the European Commission. The declaration, initiated by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), the German-African Business Association and the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM), sets out the priorities that are crucially important for the continued development of the automotive industry in Africa. The declaration’s key focuses are: developing the use of sustainable energy sources and propulsion systems, digital mobility solutions, and the development of local supply and value chains. The signatories perceive the possibility of further expanding the automotive industry in Africa as a joint project – and making this process sustainable right from the outset.

    The VDA is thus strengthening and intensifying its cooperation with Africa. The partnership with the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM) has been supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) since the end of 2020.

    “The trade and investment climate in Africa can be improved only through joint action. We are convinced that Africa has huge potential – particularly where renewable energy is concerned – for developing a promising automotive industry that will ensure long-term employment,” declared Dave Coffey, CEO of AAAM. “The fact that African and European associations have agreed on key points for further expansion of the industry on the continent is an important milestone. Now it is up to the policy-makers to put the framework conditions in place,” Coffey said.

    The VDA already has members that are active in Africa. They operate over 80 production sites, accounting for a significant proportion of the industry’s development there. The VDA supports them by partnering with the AAAM and cooperating with other players both in Africa and in Europe.

    “We see the partnership with the AAAM and the signing of the declaration of intent as an important step forward in the ongoing support that our members provide with their activities in Africa. The African continent is severely fragmented, but it will become ever more important with regard to alternative powertrains and can play a pioneering role in this context,” stressed VDA President Hildegard Müller.

    “The VDA, the AAAM and the supporters of the declaration all wish to improve the conditions for an aspiring automotive industry on the African continent, in order to enable more economic growth and prosperity in Africa,” Müller continued.

    The aim is that both German and African member companies will now be empowered to participate in the market growth and to create win-win situations in the trade and investment links between Europe and Africa. “As the private sector we are actively helping to support the EU’s Global Gateway strategy and the development objectives of the German Federal Government,” Müller stated.

    Representatives of the European Commission also attended the digital signing ceremony. The Commission welcomes the VDA’s engagement in Africa and supports the cooperation between the African and European associations.


    Simon Schütz

    Head of the Press Office