President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in the coming weeks, will launch a GHȻ100- billion-Coronavirus Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprises Support (CARES) programme, to revitalise and transform the Ghanaian economy.
The three-and-half year comprehensive and audacious programme, also known as Ghana Cares or ‘Obaatanpa’, seeks to stabilise and revitalise the Ghanaian businesses ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is expected that 70 percent of the funds for implementation would come from the private sector whilst 30 percent from the public sector.
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, announced this at the Mid-Year Budget Review and Supplementary estimates presented to Parliament on Thursday.
The Mid-Year Budget is in line with Section 28 of the Public Financial Management Act.
Providing details of the CARES programme, the Minister said, it would promote the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda and ensure that the macroeconomic gains achieved over the last three years were not eroded.
“The government, through the COVID-19 Alleviation Revitalisation and Enterprises Support (CARES) programme, will implement several strategies to stabilise and revitalise the economy and return to the path of robust growth, and to the five percent fiscal deficit threshold as the law requires,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.
Over the medium-term (2021-2023), he explained, the programme would provide strong support for housing and construction industry through a mortgage, accelerate the implementation of the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda, envisage strong action to improve the private sector environment and support for Ghanaian enterprises, to accelerate import substitution and export expansion in light manufacturing.
It would also optimise the government’s flagship initiatives such as the Planting for Food and Jobs and the Rearing for Food and Export and agro-processing.
It would also help to digitise the economy, enhance commercial farming, the pharmaceuticals, and textiles and garments sector for greater results and financial sustainability.
More also, the CARES programme, he said, intended to establish Ghana as a key financial hub, leveraging the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) by establishing an International Financial Services Centre(IFSC).
It would also strengthen the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and the Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA) for investment promotion.
Mr Ofori-Atta noted that President Akufo-Addo had shown leadership, competence, decisiveness and passion in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister said the nation had been hit with a “double shock”, thus, a health pandemic and a global economic recession, resulting in a revenue shortfall of GHȻ13.6 billion and an unanticipated but necessary expenditure of approximately GHȻ11.7 billion.
However, he said, the government was not daunted by the COVID-19 pandemic and would strive to support the citizenry and protect livelihoods, until a vaccine is discovered.
Mr Ofori-Atta noted that post-COVID-19 economy would be challenging, therefore, “we need continuity, competent and courageous leadership to manage the Ghanaian economy.”
He assured of the government’s commitment to protecting and ensuring fiscal management of the Ghanaian economy and value for money.
Mr Ofori-Atta assured of the government’s determination to strengthen budget management and implementation to ensure accountability, transparency and value for the taxpayers’ funds.