President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says the sound economic foundation laid by his administration between 2017 and 2020 has significantly reduced the impact of the COVID-19 on the country’s economy.
Aside the impact of the pandemic on global health, COVID-19 has significantly affected the socio-economic lives of billions of people worldwide.
However, President Akufo-Addo said “but for the sound economic foundation built between 2017 and 2020, where on the average, the economy grew byseven per cent, the impact of COVID-19 would have even been more devastating in Ghana.”
The President made these remarks at the opening of the 2022 edition of the annual New Year School at the campus of the University of Ghana, Legon in Accra yesterday.
Stakeholders from across the various sectors of the economy are attending the school, organised by the Institute of Distance Education, University of Ghana and the Ministry of Finance, to deliberate on the theme “COVID-19, Socio-economic dynamics in Ghana.”
President Akufo-Addo, in his address, pointed out that when the global food security situation was threatened by the pandemic, with many economies shutting down exports and essential food items seized, Ghana’s economy remained largely self-sufficient.
“We were able to feed ourselves; thanks to the programme of Planting for Foods and Jobs, there were no food shortages,” he said.
Other interventions put in place by the government to cushion Ghanaians against the socio-economic impact of the pandemic, was the setting up of a GH1.1 billion health response package used to procure suppliers, equipment, and institute a relief package for health workers, President Akufo-Addo further pointed out.
Additionally, he said a GHC1.6 billion support package was made available to vulnerable households across the country.
The amount went into the preparation of food packages and hot meals and the provision of free water and electricity across the country, President Akufo-Addo added.
President Akufo-Addo said GH750 million support package was distributed to micro, small, and medium size businesses by his administration in the wake of the pandemic.
He said government found money to recruit 24,285 health professionals and spent GH1.9 billion on the educational sector to prevent the spread of the pandemic in schools.
Present at the opening ceremony of the New Year School were the Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Mrs Mary Chinery-Hesse; the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Nana Aba AppiahAmfo and the World Bank Country Director, Pierre Frank Laporte, among others.
BY YAW KYEI