On Wednesday, the first of its type in Ghana, a state-of-the-art automobile technical training center opened on Graphic Road in Accra. The West African Vehicle Academy (WAVA) equips trainees with the skills and information necessary to meet the demands of modern automotive service, diagnostic, and repair. The automotive industry's technical skills deficit exacerbates the requirement for current motor vehicle technological advancement; the WAVA vehicle academy provides precisely that.

WAVA is a non-profit partnership between Bosch Automotive Aftermarket Ghana, Rana Motors, and the German Development Cooperation's develoPPP initiative. Develop is a German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) initiative. It aims to promote the involvement of the private sector in business ventures where the need for development policy action overlap. It is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

The purpose of the opening event was to promote networking and strategically expose the state-of-the-art facility to stimulate additional conversation about how relevant parties may benefit from the arrangement.

With the government of Ghana's goal of becoming a fully integrated and competitive industrial center for the automotive industry in West Africa, stakeholders in the sector are required to take advantage of the various opportunities that arise. The Vehicle Academy is thus well positioned to provide participating institutions and corporations with the necessary vehicle diagnostic abilities, allowing them to gain a competitive advantage.

WAVA now teaches technicians from the Rana Motors Service Network, Bosch Service Network technicians, and trainers and instructors from public and private technical schools and colleges. In addition, individual students and service partners from different automobile manufacturers will be able to participate in the courses in the near future.

The vehicle academy's training sessions are conducted by highly qualified instructors who, in addition to their previous expertise, have completed an intense training-of-trainers program with international senior mechanic instructors. The number of students in most training courses is limited to a maximum of ten, allowing for intensive practical exposure for the trainee. This hands-on method has shown to be highly effective.

Trainees use state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and advanced tools during practical sessions, with trainers providing support and advice. The training vehicles are made by various manufacturers, reflecting the diversity of the Ghanaian automobile market.

WAVA began its first training schedule in August 2020, following a significant investment by all three partners in equipment, tools, and technological installations, undeterred by the pandemic and by following the needed hygiene measures.

More than 1,000 trainees have attended the courses since then. Most courses last up to one week and cover a wide range of topics pertinent to the automobile service business. As a result, diverse high-level players from the corporate and public sectors, as well as the education and development sectors, attended the inauguration event.

The main highlights included a panel discussion on the automotive sector's future in the Sub-region, including a brief look at Ghana, and a workstation demonstration fair at the vehicle academy.