Ghana@65: Working together; bouncing back better: How SMEs are navigating through the pandemic


The COVID-19 pandemic has not gained notoriety only for its alarming human cost but has also caused an unprecedented economic downturn. Though the effects of the pandemic has negated the gains made by several small and medium enterprises, most of them, however, have remained resilient through interventions by global organizations and the Ghanaian government itself.

Several global bodies, including the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and many others as well as the government of Ghana have made significant investments into resuscitating local businesses to withstand the shocks of the pandemic.

For instance, the government, through the Ghana CARES (Obaatan pa) programme – an unprecedented, bold and audacious GH¢100 billion post COVID-19 programme to stabilize, revitalize and transform Ghana’s economy to create jobs and prosperity for Ghanaians over a three-year period, is widely been implemented in many sectors of the economy, with the utmost intention to enable these sectors to strongly bounce back from the pandemic’s ravages.

The Ghana CARES programme, which is sequenced in two phases: a Stabilization Phase that is running from July to the end of the year (2020); and a medium-term Revitalization Phase from 2021-2023, when fully implemented till 2023, according to the Ministry of Finance, will lead to the full recovery of the economy.

Meanwhile, international bodies have not been left out in the quest to find lasting solutions to help Ghana bounce back better from the pandemic.

Findings of the COVID-19 Business Tracker Survey conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank, indicated that Ghanaian businesses suffered an average decline in sales by an estimated 51.5 percent, leading to the closure of businesses and job losses.

Indeed, the World Bank said it has given Ghana a sum of US$430 million to fight the pandemic, and to help the SMEs sector to bounce back.

As part of efforts to support Ghana’s economic recovery drive, UNDP rolled out four integrated interventions to help Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) recover from the pandemic and thrive to boost job creation. The interventions, focusing on women and youth-led MSMEs, are building on UNDP’s investment in young innovators that included a seed funding of about US$500,000 to 42 young innovators to scale up their businesses.

The support includes market intelligence on investment opportunities, services and gaps related to MSMEs support in Ghana; a prototype of integrated ecosystem support for businesses; strategic communications capacity development and a digital gateway to share and access information in real-time.

The interventions are particularly significant as MSMEs are the backbone of the Ghanaian economy – representing about 85 percent of businesses and contributing about 70 percent of Ghana’s gross domestic product (GDP). Therefore, strengthening their resilience holds the unique potential to unlock more opportunities, create more jobs and provide the needed support system to aid the Ghanaian economy in building back better and stronger.

Despite the monumental challenges brought by COVID-19, it has also presented a unique opportunity to revolutionize economies in a very significant way through youth and women-led innovations. The agenda to leave no one behind in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals will receive a major boost if we respond to this economic revolution by putting women and youth at the centre of the recovery process.

The process of bouncing back better must include all other sectors of the economy, including agriculture, transportation, service industry, tourism, energy, banking and financial services among others.

Agriculture, for instance, must be significantly prioritized with mechanization as the new order so as to scaleup and produce enough to feed the population.

About the 65th Independence Celebration

Ghana’s 65th Independence Day Celebration which will be marked in Cape Coast is on the theme: ‘Working together; Bouncing Back Better’.

The celebration will be preceded by a 10-day activity which begun from February 25, 2022 with the special guest of honour being the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley. “In a bid to bounce back better, the Nkonsonkonson symbol which means “Boame na me mboa wo”, literally meaning ‘help me let me help you.’ Has been adopted for the celebrations.

The symbol suggest: “we find ourselves in a difficult situation as a world, and it is about time we as citizens support other countries, so that in turn when our country also gets good standing, other countries can also support us.”

Activities of the event is expected to be a mixture of both local and national programs.


Leave a Reply