The Ghana Employers’ Association (GEA) has appealed for government to expedite action in determining modalities and frameworks for implementing the Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprises (Ghana CARES) Programme.
GEA says speedy implementation of a framework for the programme will enable employers and industry to have an idea of timely reporting and feedback on key performance indicators (KPIs) for the initiative.
Chief Executive of GEA, Mr. Alex Frimpong – speaking at the Association’s Forum to analyse the 2022 National Budget, observed that since inauguration of the programme a year ago, there are still no clearly outlined modalities on how the private sector can benefit from the initiative.
Mr. Frimpong said the GEA is elated that a Coordinating Unit has been established to provide oversight and technical support for the respective CARES Delivery Units, as confirmed by Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta during the 2022 budget reading.
“This development is a good sign that the programme has been given priority by government to make it successful,” he said.
The programme, if well implemented – according to GEA, will help reduce dependence on imports of goods such as food, basic pharmaceuticals and light manufacturing products, while promoting economic diversification, accelerating industrialisation and stabilising the exchange rate.
The Ghana CARES programme, popularly known as ‘Obaatanpa’, is an audacious GH¢100billion COVID-era programme to stabilise, revitalise and transform the economy to create jobs and prosperity for Ghanaians over a three-year period.
It is sequenced in two phases – a Stabilisation Phase that ended in the year 2020; and a medium-term Revitalisation Phase from 2021 to 2023.
The programme’s first phase builds on the actions already taken by government under the COVID-19 Alleviation Programme – including stabilisation of the economy, ensuring food security, supporting businesses and workers, strengthening the health system, and passing legislation to facilitate quick economic recovery.
The second phase, which is aimed at revitalising and transforming the economy from 2021-2023, will focus on supporting commercial farming and attracting educated youth into agriculture, and building the light manufacturing sector.
The programme also seeks to develop engineering/machine tools and the ICT/digital economy, develop Ghana’s housing and construction industry; and review and optimise implementation of government flagship and key programmes among others.