At a ceremony at the Jubilee House on Tuesday, a total of 1,300 businesses across the country received financial support with low interest from the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The beneficiaries are the first batch to receive the support under the Presidential Business Support Programme and expected to create 30,000 direct and indirect jobs in the economy.
Strikingly, the businesses cut across the economy: agribusiness, Information and Communication Technology, tourism, sanitation and waste management, fashion and accessories, media, marketing and communication, real estate and transportation.
The President urged the beneficiaries "to seize the opportunity and demonstrate their entrepreneurial skills, while contributing to the growth of the economy."
The intent and purpose of the presidential initiative is very laudable. It a is commendable economic development strategy and it is in line with Article 36(2) of the Constitution which states that "The state shall, in particular, take all necessary steps to establish a sound and healthy economy whose underlining principles shall include (b) "afford ample opportunity for individual initiative and creativity in economic activities and fostering an enabling environment for a pronounced role of the private sector in the economy."
Besides, the government's medium term development framework, the Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies 2017-2024 observes that "The economic situation over the last decade has been characterised by slow growth, rapid depreciation of the cedi, rising erratic rates of inflation, increasing government budget deficits and interest rates, amidst growth in traded deficit.
"At 3.6 per cent, real GDP growth in 2016 was the lowest in over 20 years. Progress in addressing these vulnerabilities is crucial to restoring the health of the economy, and placing it on the path to high and employment-intensive growth."
Indeed, it has been the major campaign promise of the President to address the challenges inherent in the economy and propel growth, notably through private sector-led initiative, for sustainable development that would bring smiles on the faces of Ghanaian in terms of job creation and improvement of the well-being of all.
We salute the selected 1,300 businesses that showed creativity and qualified for the support, especially coming from a pool of 7,000 small and micro businesses that applied for the support.
We urge them to take their businesses very seriously to achieve the targets they set for themselves and continue to gain the continuous support and confidence of the government.
We doff our hats off for the Ministry of Business Development and the Minister, Dr Mohammed Awal who spear headed the programme that culminated in the package for the beneficiaries.
The ministry has solved a major challenge; high interest rates that every business person has to confront.
It is a shot in the arm of the businesses to have the government support them with the low interest rate under this initiative.
The government no doubt has been responsive and sensitive to their concerns and has acted to do the needful support businesses with capital at a low interest rate.
We add our voice to the advice by the President to the rest of the applicants who missed out on the selection criteria, not to be despaired but try again.
To the benefiaries, the wheel of the economy rests on their shoulders; they must help to turn the economy around. They must count themselves lucky to have been chosen out of the large member and therefore, must justify why they have been chosen.Read Full Story