Finance Minister Ken Oforir-Atta says until Ghana was hit by the Covid-19, the country was on course to achieving the objective to stabilise and grow the economy, create jobs especially for the Youth.
He said the current administration was on course to modernise, digitise and formalise the economy, provide social protection for the vulnerable and create a safe and secure environment for citizens and businesses to thrive.
He was addressing the press on Sunday in reaction to the ‘FixTheCountry’ campaign.
According to him, ”In extraordinary times, you should expect exceptional leadership from your Government. I truly believe we cannot ensure exceptional leadership without a collective effort. So, I commend the Youth for calling on Government and leaders to be at their best. This shows the patriotism of the Ghanaian Youth, echoing the President’s call to Be a Citizen, Not a Spectator. You have elected us to solve the problems that face this country. We will continue to work with you and other stakeholders to do just that.”
He outlined measures he said have been taken to address the challenges:
Government, we took the following measures, among others, to address the structural challenges of the economy:
a) We implemented flagship initiatives such as 1 District 1 Factory, 1 Village 1 Dam, Planting for Food & Jobs, and IPEP in the Real Sector to accelerate economic activities and help create jobs;
b) We introduced, restored, or enhanced social protection policies to support the vulnerable and address the pertinent issue of joblessness. These interventions include the Free Senior High School Programme with over 1.2 million enrolments, the Zongo Development Fund Programme, School Feeding Programme with over 3.4 million beneficiaries, LEAP Programme with over 334,084 Households, Nations Builders Corps (NABCO) with 100,000 beneficiaries, allowances for Teacher Trainees for some 47,135 beneficiaries, and allowances for Nursing Trainees with some 50,825 beneficiaries. Fortunately, we have been able to preserve jobs in the public sector inspite of the Covid-19 pandemic. We acknowledge, that as a Nation we need to do more to ensure decent incomes for all Ghanaians. However, even at these levels, compensation of public sector employees represents 52.4 percent of domestic revenue.
c) We implemented several digitalisation programmes to transform the economy, formalise the informal sector, and increase efficiency in public service delivery. These initiatives include the issuance of over 15 million National ID Cards, the digital addressing system for over 7 million homes, mobile money payment interoperability system, the introduction of the paperless port system, automation of driver’s license and vehicle registration, renewal of NHIS registration, land records digitisation with block-chain technology, and automation of passport application;
d) For the first time in Ghana’s history, we established two Social Partnership Programmes―one with Organised Labour and the Ghana Employers Association; the other with Faith-based Organisations (FBOs)—to provide a platform for a cohesive and trustful relationship between the partners on issues of national development;
e) We took a financial sector on the brink of collapse, cleaned it to build a more robust financial ecosystem that is well capitalised, liquid, and solvent to fund our development. By this initiative, we saved the hard earned savings of 4.6 million depositors, 81,700 investors and protected 3,000 direct jobs;
f) We won the bid to host the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), positioning Ghana and Ghanaian businesses as the gateway partner and spearhead Ghana as a hub for the Africa region. In addition to Google setting up its regional Artificial Intelligence centre in Accra, Twitter recently announced that it would put its Africa headquarters in Accra. In addition, GIPC is working assiduously to attract the likes of Amazon to Ghana to deepen the tech entrepreneurial ecosystem for Ghanaian entrepreneurs.