It’s been a whirlwind year for Ghana and the whole world at large following the outbreak of the deadly Novel Coronavirus pandemic.
Aside from death and complicated health issues, the pandemic has had an immense effect on livelihood, businesses, and economies.
Some countries have had to experience a derail in their economies while businesses, both private and government, have had to either close down, lay off workers, or keep heads above waters to run smoothly.
In spite of the unforeseen adversity, there have been some positives in the business world. Ranging from new startups to financial assistance, etc.
Below are some of the business breakthroughs:
Govt launches GH¢100 billion Ghana CARES program
President-elect Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo November 2020, launched the Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprise support initiative.
Also known as the ‘Obaatan Pa’ program, Akufo-Addo stated that the GH¢100 billion development initiative was designed by the government to mitigate the economic challenges brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Fellow Ghanaians, I pledged to build a Ghana that works and gives every one of us the opportunity to improve our lives. Over the last 3 years and 10 months, my government has done exactly that. We have stabilized the economy to create the enabling environment for business”, he said.
Nana Akufo-Addo further stated that the initiative which is sequenced in two phases is his government’s “Ghana beyond Aid” agenda in action.
Below is Akufo-Addo’s speech:
African Continental Free Trade Area
The African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat was successfully commissioned in Accra to allow free trade beginning January 2021.
AfCFTA project is known as a flagship of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, a strategic framework with the aim to deliver an inclusive and sustainable development.
The programme is projected to create a market of 1.2 billion Africans with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$3 trillion.
Fifty young entrepreneurs receive support from NBSSI
Following the launched of the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAP BuSS), the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) disclosed that over 300,000 local businesses across the country benefited from the project.
CAP BuSS was created to support Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) that were impacted negatively by the Coronavirus Pandemic.
The Scheme which started with an initial amount of GH¢600 million, had an additional GH¢150 Million to augment the initial fund. This was announced by the government through the Ministry of Finance announced in the mid-year budget review for 2020.
Bank of Ghana, Monetary Authority of Singapore sign agreement to promote SMEs
Ghana’s central bank and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate in promoting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) through the use of technology.
The Bank of Ghana stated that the agreement was signed on December 8, 2020, and is a follow up to earlier engagements between the Governments of Ghana and Singapore.
These engagements, the BoG explained, has culminated in an understanding between the two countries to work together and explore the use of technology in improving their economies for global competitiveness.
“With Singapore being an important technology hub in Asia, and Ghana, being an emerging FinTech powerhouse in sub-Saharan Africa as well as hosting the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat makes this relationship significant. The anticipated gains from this MOU will have a positive impact on AfCFTA and underscore Ghana’s position as a gateway to Africa,” the BoG reiterated in a statement.
The saying when life throws lemons at you, make lemonades out of them. This could be related to the job losses and desperation by some individuals after COVID-19 reared its ugly head.
Rather than stay home and remain unemployed, some persons took it upon themselves to venture into business which is going quite well for many.
An example is the story of a school owner who is now grilling different kinds of meat delicacies to serve customers in their homes.
From her ‘home kitchen’, she transforms raw duck, quail, pork, and other meats into tasty little chops for money.
“It was my last 300 Ghana cedis. One Sunday morning, I woke up from the bed and realised all I had left was 300 cedis. I knew if that money was finished, I would have to be asking friends and those things are embarrassing. So I asked myself what I have, and what I can do with it,” she narrated in an interview with GhanaWeb.