In just six months of governance, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s administration has unveiled commitments totaling over $2.5 billion to propel the establishment and revival of private sector led initiatives aimed at creating the much needed jobs for the teeming unemployed Ghanaians to kick start an industrial revolution.
In recognition of the World Bank data showing that 48% of Ghanaian youth are unemployed which is among the highest in the world, the president admits that job creation will define his presidency hence the need for accelerated job creation.
$2b China Suppliers Credit Facility for 1-District-1-Factory
In this respect, government in collaboration with the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) had arranged a Suppliers Credit Facility for $2billion from China to provide equipment, machinery and other facilities to make 1-District, 1-Factory project a reality.
Govt commits $100m to 1-District, 1-Factory
This is in addition to $100million allocated by government to support the establishment of the district enterprises and the 1-District, 1-Factory project.
$340m from banks towards 1-District-1-Factory
So far, an additional amount of $340million has been leveraged from local banks and financial institutions to support 1-District, 1-Factory initiative.
Govt commits $10m to NEIP
Government has also committed $10million to the National Entrepreneurship and Innovations Plan (NEIP), an innovative scheme, under the Business Development Ministry, to help startups steer their way clear out of the difficult early stages of setting up businesses.
NEIP to be scaled up to $100m by private sector.
The objective of the NEIP is to encourage the private sector to invest into the initiative and leverage it from government’s $10million to $100million.
Govt votes $50m for stimulus package
President Nana Akufo-Addo announced that so far, 80 distressed companies have been adjudged eligible to receive stimulus packages meant for the revival of distressed companies.
Govt votes $50m for stimulus packages
“At the end of June 2017, 285 applications had been received. So far, 118 of these applications have been screened, of which 80 have been adjudged eligible for various stimulus packages,” he stated.
$20m from local financial institutions for stimulus package
An amount of $20 million has also been earmarked by local financial institutions as part of the stimulus package, the President announced.
The president assured Ghanaians that his government would not renege on the campaign promise to create jobs for the teeming masses and improve their lives.
Progress made in Agriculture
Conscious of the fact that agriculture remained key to providing the majority of the jobs promised the people of Ghana; the President said his government was paying urgent attention to “the modernisation of our agricultural practices.”
On that score, he said extension officers were being employed to provide hands-on support to farmers, adding “we are generally paying extra attention to every stage of farming.”
“The one-village-one-dam scheme is taking off in the three northern regions with the rehabilitation of the existing ones that are in sad states of disrepair. Planting for Food and Jobs, one of our flagship initiatives, has also started with increasing enthusiasm,” President Akufo Addo said.
He said that planting for Food and Jobs programme had registered 185,000 farmers out of the 200,000 targeted.
Government, he announced was bearing 50 per cent of the cost of fertiliser for farmers in that project, adding that 80,037 tonnes of fertiliser had been distributed to farmers enrolled on the programme while 35,747 metric tonnes of seedlings had also been supplied to farmers.
Economic gains in 6 months
Turning to economic activities, the President said the gradual decline in the cost of borrowing and the increase in banks’ credit to the private sector was encouraging.
The monetary policy rate (MPR) of the Bank of Ghana has been cut from 25.5 percent to 22.5 percent and could be trending further down, while inflation had within a period of six months gone down from 15.4 per cent in December 2016 to 12.1 per cent in June 2017, the lowest in four years.
The benchmark 91-day Treasury Bill (T-bill) rate which was 22.8 percent in January 2016 has narrowed to 11.9 percent in June 2017, the lowest in 5 years.
The President however, admitted that there was more to do “to bring down the cost of borrowing to enable businesses to have access to much needed credit.”
“It is my hope and expectation that these statistics will soon translate into tangible benefits in the lives of Ghanaians,” he noted.
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(Via: CitiFM Online Ghana)