By Moses Akaigwe
The director-general of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Jelani Aliyu, has enjoined African countries and research institutes to commit more efforts to adopting and deepening electric vehicle technology on the continent.
This was the thrust of the DG’s address at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) forum held recently at the United Nations office in Nairobi, Kenya, where he argued that the African continent needs electric mobility technology more than any other part of the world.
Aliyu was a guest speaker at the programme themed ‘Shifting to Efficient and Zero Emission Vehicles in the Global South,’ which held from June 13 to 15, June, 2022, with delegates from Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, and Latin America and the Caribbeans, in attendance.
The NADDC DG said, “The people of Africa themselves have incredible heritage and history, from the times of the builders of the great pyramid of Giza, to the reign of Mansa Musa of Mali, to the dreams, hopes and aspirations of modern-day Africans – dreams, hopes and aspirations that must now be realised to positively change the lives of every man, woman and child on the continent at an aggressive pace.”
He spoke on the need for massive industrialisation and transformation in Africa, stating that it must be achieved without destroying the continent’s environment, even as he observed that with the abundance of sustainable energy, electric mobility would be the unparalleled solution.
The UNEP workshop showcased the activities and impact of UN’s GFEI (Global Fuel Economy Initiative) in developing countries, and the support to help them improve the efficiency of their relative vehicle fleets, including developing economy and Electric Mobility policies.
The workshop also fostered south-south cooperation among the supported countries, and shared the experiences and practical examples from participating countries on cleaner and efficient fuels as well as Electric Vehicle policy development.
Aliyu discussed the journey and successes so far on electric mobility in Nigeria, “We have put together a technical committee to work on and create a legal framework for the promotion, adoption, patronage and usage of EVs in Nigeria, this will further expedite the development of Electric Mobility in the country”.
He also informed participants of the progress so far made in the assembly of electric vehicles in Nigeria, including the Hyundai Kona EV by Stallion Motors, and Jet Mover Electric van by Jet Systems Motors, as well as Max E’s electric motorcycle, and mini buses being converted from petrol consumption to electric by Phoenix Renewables.
“NADDC has started the development of Electric Vehicle changing infrastructure with three pilots of 100% Solar Powered EV Charging Stations located at universities to support technology transfer.”
Aliyu said there is an opportunity to collaborate and get necessary support from the GEF programme of the United Nations in funding electric mobility research and projects in Nigeria, such as the work the NADDC is doing in partnership with academia both within and outside Nigeria towards solar powered traction platforms for small farmers.
He further urged participants to be conscious of the fact that the industry would not grow from vehicle importation alone but by developing home-grown technology.
Aliyu reiterated that the future must be achieved through ubiquitous and sustainable industrialisation, enabled by intelligent electric mobility to every relevant nook and corner of Africa.
The UN office in Nairobi, Kenya is the organisation’s third largest facility in the world with 4,000 employees, and is its official headquarters in Africa..