By Ayo Akinfe
(1) Over the last fortnight or so we have been making a lot of noise about the fact that Toyota is locating its new assembly plant in Ghana instead of Nigeria without debating the real issue. By 2030, about one third of the world’s cars will be electric, so why are we Africans not part of this environmental revolution?
(2) As far as I am aware, Toyota has no plans whatsoever to manufacture electric cars in Africa. To make matters worse, on Wednesday, August, 28, Toyota acquired a 4.9% stake in Suzuki, making it a principal shareholder. As a result, this Ghanaian plant will produce both Toyota and Suzuki pre-historic and archaic petrol cars
(3) If you want further evidence to highlight the fact that the rest of the human race does not consider Africans proper homo sapiens, do you know that Toyota is now planning to open another assembly plant in Ivory Coast in 2020? For me, their strategy is clear – As the rest of the world moves away from petrol cars, let us create a dumping ground for this obsolete technology in West Africa!
(4) Do you know that Toyota is to build a new hybrid electric vehicle in the UK for Suzuki at its Burnaston plant in Derbyshire, with engines supplied by the company’s Deeside factory in north Wales? Under the terms of the deal, Toyota will produce hybrids in Europe, based on its Corolla and RAV4 SUV crossover for Suzuki. Why was this not replicated in Ghana?
(5) To make matters worse, Toyota will give royalty-free access to its nearly 24,000 patents related to electrification technology and systems to other car users in a move that aims to encourage rival automakers to adopt the low-emissions and fuel-saving technology. Is Innoson or any other African car manufacturer part of this plan? The only thing the rest of the world happily gave Africa for free were their religious beliefs. They clearly knew what they were doing
(6) Next year, Tokyo will host the Olympic Games and Toyota is planning to use the event to make a huge statement regarding electronic vehicles. It will release six new electric cars starting in 2020 and stretching through to 2025, making the Olympics a grand stage from which to launch that lineup
(7) It is estimated that conservatively, about 30% of new car sales will be electronic by 2030. This 30% share is roughly what is needed to begin to meet emission-reduction commitments made in the lead-up to the 2015 Paris climate talks. Under this scenario, the number of electric cars on the road could reach 228m by 2030. Very scarily though, not one of such vehicles will be in Africa
(8) At the recent Japanese African summit in Yokohama and the World Economic Forum in Cape Town, Africa did not address this issue or even present a position paper on the need to come up with ideas to make her part of the global green revolution. Is it thus surprising that the rest of the world treats us like vermin?
(9) Do you know the main reason why Britain and Boris Johnson are in dire straights over Brexit is because the European Union (EU) did not allow it members to negotiate with the British individually. Theresa May had to deal with that European Commission, which presented a united front, scuppering the evil Tory plot of trying to play the weaker and smaller Europeans off against each other by offering them sweeteners
(10) We Africans need to learn from the EU and Brexit and start presenting united fronts at economic summits. If Toyota had to negotiate with a united Africa, I doubt it she would have got away with an archaic petrol plant in Ghana. One reason why the word secession makes my blood boil is that we Africans fail to learn from history. We were colonised by the Europeans because our continent was made up of small and divided kingdoms. The only African nation that united in Ethiopia, was able to resist colonialism. Africans need to form a united front if want the rest of the world to stop exploiting us!