The Ghana CoVID Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprises (Ghana CARES) Programme.
That COVID-19 has exposed our vulnerabilities as a nation cannot be overemphasised. It has,however, also revealed opportunities that we must seize. Together, these have underscored the salience of the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda and an urgency to accelerate its implementation.
The Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprises (Ghana CARES) Programme is Ghana Beyond Aid in action: it is through the Ghana CARES programme that we plan to Stabilise, Revitalise and Transform Ghana. The implementation of the Ghana CARES programme will restore growth to Pre Covid-19 levels and return the fiscal path to be within the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2018 (Act 982) threshold of 5% deficit and positive primary balance by 2023.
The principal objectives of the Ghana CARES programme are:
- the Stabilisation Phase (July to December 2020) our priority for this phase is to implement interventions that ensure food security and that protect businesses and jobs. In view of this, and among several other measures, this phase of Ghana CARES will:
- increase the original GH¢600 million soft loan programme, dubbed the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme-Business Support Scheme (CAP-BuSS), by an additional GH¢150 million to support MSMEs (GH¢700 million) and also, the Creative Arts, the Media, and the Conference of Independent Universities (GH¢50 million)
- establish a GH¢2 billion Guarantee Facility to support all large enterprises and for job retention. This will enable these businesses borrow from banks at affordable rates and over long tenors to adjust to the pandemic and to retain jobs
- set up a GH¢100 million Fund for Labour and Faith-Based Organisations for retraining and skills development (Retraining Programme)
- establish an Unemployment Insurance Scheme to provide temporary income support to workers who are laid off due to the pandemic
- to ensure food security for the rest of the year, intensify support to the “Planting for Food and Jobs” and “Rearing for Food and Jobs” programmes, provide financial support for the National Buffer Stock Company and the Ghana Commodity Exchange, and set up a Food Security Monitoring Committee
- implement a range of employment retention & support services to large enterprises,
- clearing contractor arrears
- paying new contractors more quickly
- increasing government procurement for local businesses (e.g. PPEs, pharmaceuticals for health sector, and other supplies)
- commence — Agenda 111 (originally labelled Agenda 88) — to construct a 100-bed hospital in 101 districts that currently lack such facilities, a regional hospital in each of the six new regions, a new regional hospital in the Western Region, rehabilitation of the Effia-Nkwanta Hospital, and build two new psychiatric hospitals as well as infectious disease centres for each of the three ecological zones, and
- leverage the Agenda 111 project to build local capacity in the housing and construction industry, strengthen the housing mortgage and construction finance scheme initiated by Government and selected banks last year, and take measures to facilitate access to land for housing by estate developers
- the Revitalisation and Transformation Phase (2021 to 2023) over this period, we will invest in activities aimed at accelerating the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda. Specifically, we will:
- pursue the establishment of Ghana as a regional hub by leveraging the siting of the Secretariat of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Ghana, and will include the establishment of the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC)
- review and optimise the implementation of our Government flagships such as 1D1F, PFJ, and Free SHS that depend primarily on Government’s budget finance for greater results, value-for-money, and fiscal sustainability
- complement the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative with a targeted programme to support the activities of the Ghana Tree Crop Development Authority in promoting selected cash crops, support commercial farming and attract educated youth into agriculture
- build Ghana’s light manufacturing sector, including our capabilities to manufacture machine tools to support our industrialisation
- fast-track digitisation of government business as well as build a digital economy, and
- strengthen the enablers of growth and transformation by taking strong measures to improve the business environment for the private sector.
We estimate the Revitalisation and Transformation phase of the Ghana CARES programme to cost some one hundred billion Ghana Cedis (GH¢100 billion), about a third of which will be funded by central government, the rest being crowded-in from the private sector.