Amid COVID-19, government announces a GHC100 billion development programme

The government has presented an ambitious plan to help anchor and transform Ghana’s economy following the COVID-19 pandemic

The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has announced a GHC100 billion development programme to revitalise enterprises in Ghana amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Presenting the Mid-year Budget Review in Parliament on Thursday, Ofori-Atta laid out the three-and-a-half-year plan, called the Ghana Coronavirus Alleviation, Revitalisation and Enterprises Support (CARES) programme.

He said the plan, also known as the “Obaatanpa” programme, will be the fulcrum for a comprehensive transformation of Ghanaian society beyond COVID-19.

“Ambitious and unprecedented”

“I am happy to announce that the president will in the coming weeks launch a GHC100 billion development programme,” the minister told Members of Parliament.

Ofori-Atta declared: “It is an ambitious and unprecedented three-and-a-half-year programme called the Coronavirus Alleviation, Revitalisation and Enterprises Support (CARES) … The Ghana CARES … ‘Obaatanpa’ programme will anchor the comprehensive programme for our transformation as a society.”

He said Ghana CARES “aims to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the lives and livelihoods of Ghanaians, and to ensure that we quickly emerge from the pandemic with a stronger and more resilient economy”.

Ofori-Atta told MPs, “The CARES programme is in two phases: a stabilisation phase that runs from July to the end of the year (2020); and a medium-term revitalisation phase that is aimed at accelerating the Ghana Beyond Aid economic transformation agenda.”

Highlighting the main elements of the two segments in the CARES programme, Ofori-Atta announced: “The stabilisation phase of the programme is aimed at extending the duration or coverage of some of the programmes we have already put in place to provide relief and support to Ghanaians, ensuring food security, protecting businesses and workers, strengthening the health system, and working with this august House to pass some legislation that will be instrumental in attracting private investments to support Ghanaian businesses during the economic revitalisation and transformation phase.”

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