The Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprises Support (CARES)
Ghana CARES “Obaatan pa” Programme
The GH¢100 billion Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprises Support (CARES) “Obaatan pa” programme is a three and half year comprehensive programme to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, return the country to a sustained path of robust growth and to create a more resilient and transformed economy. Ghana CARES is not the totality of Government’s economic development programme but rather; it represents the strategic and catalytic interventions that will foster a quicker recovery and boost our post-COVID economic transformation.
Phases of Ghana CARES
Ghana CARES is a two-phase programme that builds on the immediate actions already taken by Government under the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP). They are;
Phase 1: Stabilization of the economy (July –December 2020).
This phase provided relief to Ghanaians amidst the COVID-19 pandemic by reducing the cost of basic services; ensuring food security; protecting businesses and workers; and further strengthening the health system. Specifically, Government;
Substantially subsidized the cost of water and electricity from April to December 2020
Distributed hot meals and food packages to vulnerable and underprivileged persons
Increased allocation for the CAP-Business Support Scheme to support MSMEs
Invested in the construction of a 100-bed National Infectious Disease Centre in Accra and provided test kits to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to various National COVID-19 Treatment Centres
Passed urgent legislation to enforce COVID-19 safety protocols.
Phase 2: Revitalization and Transformation of the economy (2021 - 2023)
The Revitalization and Transformation phase aims at enhancing productive sectors of the economy via competitive import substitution and economic diversification. This phase is grouped under implementation clusters as shown below:
Support commercial farming and attract educated youth into agriculture
Complement the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) and Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ) initiatives with a targeted programme to support commercial farming and attract educated youth into farming. This will improve our food security, attract the younger generation into agriculture to sustain and enhance the scale, quality and reliability of feedstock for our agro-processing industry.
Develop engineering/machine tools and ICT/digital economy industries
Build capabilities to manufacture machine tools to support our industrialization (e.g. agricultural tools, food processing equipment, auto spare parts, building construction equipment etc.) and advance Ghana’s overall technological capability in engineering. In addition, Government will support entrepreneurs in ICT/digital economy businesses such as tech start-ups, fintechs, Business Process Outsourcing (BPOs) etc.
Fast track digitization
Expedite implementation of Government digital initiatives (e.g. the National ID, digital address systems, land records digitization, Ghana.Gov, etc.), digitize fiscal revenue collection, expand the fibre network backbone and increase digital literacy and online education.
Build Ghana’s light manufacturing sector
To improve Ghana’s competitiveness in production and processing, the Ghana CARES will support the expansion of a robust light manufacturing sector with focus on agricultural produce (specifically, rice, poultry, cassava, sugar and tomatoes), pharmaceuticals and textile and garments
Develop Ghana’s housing and construction industry
Strengthen the housing mortgage and construction finance scheme initiated by Government and selected banks last year and take measures to facilitate access to land with secure titles by real estate developers. Additionally, Government would leverage the construction of hospitals under “ Agenda 111+ ” (i.e. construction of 101 new 100-bed district hospitals, 7 new regional hospitals, 2 new psychiatric hospitals, 3 infectious diseases centres in each of the 3 ecological zones and rehabilitation of Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital-Takoradi) to strengthen the capacity of the construction industry.
Establish Ghana as a regional hub
The specific goals are to make Ghana a regional financial hub by establishing an International Financial Services Centre (IFSC), a manufacturing hub, petroleum as well as ports and logistics hub. This will be done by strengthening the capacities of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), the Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA) and overhauling the legal, policy and institutional framework for investment promotion
Review and optimize implementation of Government flagships and key programmes
Programmes (such as 1 District 1 Factory, PFJ/RFJ, Free SHS, water and sanitation programmes, etc.) that depend primarily on Government budget finance will be further optimized for greater results, value-for money and fiscal sustainability. For execution of selected major infrastructure projects, Government will pursue public-private partnerships (PPPs) or concession arrangements and task the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) to oversee implementation on behalf of the Government.
Develop a vibrant tourism industry in Ghana
Promote investment and development of infrastructure, marketing, and supply-chain links, enhanced capacity of key tourism institutions and improved coordination with the private sector for job creation and economic expansion.