Volkswagen on Wednesday launched its first car assembly plant in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.
The German car-making firm, on its website said it will begin with the assembling of the Hatchback Polo and Passat models.
According to the CEO of Volkswagen Group South Africa and Sub-Sahara region, Thomas Schäfer, the plant would assemble up to 5,000 cars per year with the creation of 1,000 new skilled jobs.
Thomas Schäfer said: “Rwanda has great potential. The country is young, modern and hungry for individual mobility.
”With a package specifically tailored to the region comprising local vehicle production, new vehicle businesses and innovative mobility services, we intend to harness the opportunities for growth and create new opportunities.
”Rwanda can become a blueprint for other African and emerging market countries,” he said.
The president of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, said Africa should not be a dumping ground for second-hand items.
“Africa and Rwanda deserves better. Africa does not need to be a dumping ground for second-hand cars, or second hand anything,” Mr Kagame said.
”In the long run, you end up paying a higher price anyway. If you can pay a high price for second-hand, why not pay a high price for something new? It is a simple choice. Africans, Rwandans, we deserve better.
”This is one way of showing how we can afford it. For these and other reasons, this promising partnership with Volkswagen is off to a good start.”
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