Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and caretaker Minister for Finance, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu says the government is ready to steer the affairs of the country in a way that will make the economy more resilient.
He said, although the outbreak of the COVID-19 derailed many of the country’s plans, the government has undertaken a number of activities that have ensured that the country can now quickly recover.
Presenting the 2021 budget statement and economic policy on the floor of Parliament on Friday, March 12, 2021, Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu who is also MP for Suame Constituency said the Ghana CARES Obaatan pa programme in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic was one of the key measures put in place by the government to cushion Ghanaians and businesses against the adverse economic effects of the virus and also set the economy for recovery.
He said that government’s Coronavirus Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprise Support (CARES) initiative is a singular and remarkable financial investment in the Ghanaian economy by a sitting government.
He added that the GH¢100 billion investment into the Ghanaian economy is meant to revitalize the economy that has been undone by the global pandemic and put it back to pre-COVID-19 levels.
“Mr. Speaker, pursuing the GH¢100 billion Ghana CARES “Obaatan pa” programme allows us to address the challenges and also seize the opportunities created by COVID-19 for socio-economic transformation. This programme will foster closer collaboration with the private sector, labour, faith-based organizations and development partners to complement efforts in the revitalization and growth agenda,” he said. Ghana CARES (Obaatan pa) Programme
The Ghana Cares initiative is a GH¢100 billion post-COVID programme initiated by government to stabilize, revitalize and transform Ghana’s economy and to create jobs and prosperity for Ghanaians over a three-year period. The programme is sequenced in two phases; the stabilization phase and the medium-term revitalization phase.
The Minister noted that the investment is aimed at expanding commercial agriculture and attract educated youth into agriculture; building Ghana’s Light Manufacturing industry targeting agro-processing, food import substitution, textile and pharmaceuticals; developing engineering, machine tools and ICT digital economy industries; fast-tracking digitization by expediting government digital initiatives; developing Ghana’s Housing and construction industry; and establish Ghana as a regional Hub, leveraging its position within ECOWAS and as host of the Secretariat of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) by focusing on manufacturing, finance, mining, healthcare, aviation and logistics, digital services, petroleum, automobile, tourism, hospitality and creative arts.
2021 budget and way forward
According to Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the 2021 budget will ensure economic recovery and macroeconomic stability through the rolling out of well-thought-through measures that will set the economy back in motion.
This he explained that the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated a lot of economies around the world with Ghana inclusive explaining that the unexpected turn of events required swift action to ameliorate the negative impact of the pandemic on livelihoods.
“Under President Akufo-Addo’s leadership, we took the required swift, drastic and decisive measures to mitigate the spread of the pandemic. We rapidly mobilized and deployed extensive internal and external resources to support Ghanaian households and enterprises…”
“Mr. Speaker, we are now better positioned to recover and build back a more resilient economy not only because we know how to do it but also because the grace of God has been assured for this journey,” he said.