Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and caretaker Minister for Finance, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu has said that the 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.
Presenting the 2021 budget statement and economic policy on the floor of Parliament on Friday, March 12, 2021, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu who is also MP for Suame Constituency said the Obaatanpa programme in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic is meant to cushion Ghanaians and businesses against the adverse economic effects of the virus.
He said 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.
“The “Obaatan pa” programme is inspired by H.E. President Akufo-Addo’s conviction that, “what our forebears dreamed of, we will achieve, if we inherited dreams and visions from our founding fathers, we should leave legacies of achievements and realities to our children and their children,” he explained.
Ghana Cares (Obaatan pa) Programme
The Ghana Cares is a GH¢100 billion posts COVID programme initiated by the 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.
This 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.
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.