Have you ever been to Africa? African nations have its own beauty, and you are sure to be wowed by its rich history.
Yet, Africa for one, will never develop a sustainable automobile industry as long as it continues to be a dumping ground for used cars. If you decided to walk through the cities of Lagos, Nairobi and Johannesburg, you would meet every brand car. They range from Hondas, Toyota, Mercedes, Volvo and even a Ford.
However, it is sad that these vehicles have been in use for years. They have only been revamped to sell at low prices. Africa seems to be a dumping ground for old cars today – and we will take a look at why.
The Absence of Eco-Friendly Regulations
The northern hemisphere has continued to tighten its grip on emission regulations. Vehicles that no longer meet the standards in the European Union, Japan, China and USA are exported mostly to Africa. For instance, 15% of the cars exported in Africa are from China and Japan. The US and EU account for 14%.
It is no wonder that the automobile market in Africa is dominated by cheap vehicles. In a country such as Kenya toxic air pollutants have resulted in the deaths of infants. In 2016, the World Health Organization revealed that 15,000 kids under the age of five died daily due to harmful emissions. A large percentage of these emissions are from vehicles.
How African Governments are Trying to Change This
African countries are trying to implement car regulations to reduce the number of second-hand cars. Over 25 countries have implemented regulations on the maximum age limit of vehicles. However, due to a weak system and the growing demand, cars continue to be dumped in Africa.
Only six cars have been assembled in Africa, while the rest are handed down. However, countries such as South Africa and Rwanda have started a campaign to ban the exportation of used cars. In 2017, the market for new cars in South Africa was more than 360,000. In other parts such as Kenya, the market was less than 12,000.
In a country such as Nigeria, they had set up new strategies to grow the motor industry. They had even set up regulations to bar the exportation of used cars. However, after the fall of oiling prices, the private market collapsed.
Nigerian had plans to revamp the automobile industry, but plans have since collapsed since then.
A country like Rwanda has taken upon itself to build an assembly motor line in Kigali. The new Volkswagen assembly which was opened mid this year is set to envision over 5,000 vehicles.
The first model is Polo while others such as Aramok, Tremont, Passat and Tiguan will also be assembled. The whole idea is to sell and use these vehicles as Ubers.
The car parts were shipped from South Africa and are eco-friendly than most exported cars.
The future for African economies is brighter than now. The only question, would they be able to keep on the path to progress?