Ghana: Press focuses on plans by government to set up special fund for MSMEs, others

The plans by the government to set up a special fund to facilitate the growth of Micro, Small and Medium…

The plans by the government to set up a special fund to facilitate the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Scale-Enterprises in the country and the lessons Ghana can learn from US polls are some of the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Tuesday.The Times reports that the government plans to set up a special fund to facilitate the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Scale-Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, has announced.

He said the MSME Fund was a critical component of the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) bill which was passed into law last week, to elevate the National Board for Small Scale industries (NBSSI) to GEA.

Speaking at the Ghana Women Entrepreneurship Summit (GWES 2020) in Accra yesterday, he said the fund was intended to address lack of access to funds, which was one of the biggest challenges faced by MSMEs.

“The fund would be designed to ensure that we provide the sort of medium to long term capital that we know businesses often do not have,” the Deputy Minister said.

The GWES 2020 biennial summit was introduced by the NBSSI in 2018, to among others, foster networking and deliberation to enhance the overall productivity of women-led industries.

The newspaper says that the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. John Dramani Mahama, has said that Ghana can learn a lot of lessons from the just ended presidential election of the United States of America (USA), including the independence of state institutions.

Speaking in an interview with reporters, he said despite the fact that President Donald Trump at a point ordered for the complete halt of the counting of the ballots, the institutions were independent and assertive.

“And that is the kind of predictability and strengthening of institutions we see in Ghana, institutions are able to work without political influence and I wonder what would have happened if the same was happening in Ghana but we will see how issues go,” the former President stressed.

Former President Mahama called for a collective effort to strengthen institutions like the Electoral Commission, the Judiciary, the Legislature and those institutions that anchor Ghana’s democracy to offer the right service and mandate that the people had given them, without any partisan consideration.

He noted that another lesson that could be learnt from the US election was when a leader became divisive, pursued his personal and family interest and abandoned his allies, a time would come when the people would rise up and make a decision that protects their interest just like how it happened in the US.

The Times also reports that the Ghana Health Service (GHS) is to set up additional COVID-19 sample collection centres across the country to further enhance the testing of cases.

This has become necessary due to the sudden increase in cases being recorded in the country, especially in the Greater Accra Region.

The Director-General of the GHS, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, disclosed this at the Minister’s Briefing in Accra yesterday.

According to him, the service had taken a decision to align all testing sites to designated GHS facilities to ensure transmission of test results that is both positive and negative results to these facilities for proper triaging, management and contact tracing.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye attributed the recent spikes in the number of cases to non-adherence to the protocols, as such; Ghanaians must revert to strict adherence to stem the tide.

The Graphic says that the Government’s quest to make the Ghana Card the sole source of identification for persons living in Ghana and for accessing public services has received a major boost following the completion of works to integrate the National Health Insurance Card with the Ghana Card.

By dialing the short code *929# and following the prompts, holders of the two cards can now link their National Health Insurance Cards to the Ghana Card and use the Ghana Card to access health care at any accredited National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) facility across the nation.

The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, launched the latest of government’s digitization efforts on Monday, November 9, 2020 at the start of the NHIS Week Celebration in Accra.

“This marks the beginning of a new dawn in the National Health Insurance system. This innovation reaffirms the NPP government’s commitment in our digital journey towards creating the needed ICT infrastructure comparable to any in the developed world,” Dr Bawumia said.

The Vice President explained that since coming into office in January 2017, the Akufo-Addo government has demonstrated the aspiration to focus on leveraging technology to accelerate Ghana’s development, especially as the world experiences the fourth Industrial Revolution.

The newspaper says that the Managing Director of the State Transport Company (STC), Nana Akomea has stated that 139,331 jobs have been created under the government’s flagship 1 District 1 Factory (1D1F) industrialisation programme.

He said the jobs, which comprise 18,811 direct and 120,520 indirect jobs were created as of July 2020.

Addressing a news conference organised by the governing New Patriotic Party on Monday in Accra, Nana Akomea stated that a total of 76 factories were currently operating under waivers granted by the 1D1F programme.

He added that a total of 232 factories were also at various stages of completion under the scheme.

The Graphic also reports that the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana has published the Special Voting list for individuals who will vote early on Tuesday, December 1, as a result of their duties on election day December 7, 2020.

The Special Voting covers security personnel, media personnel and election officials, who will be unable to vote at the polling stations where they registered on the day of the general election on December 7, 2020.

It also captures polling stations across the 16 regions of the country and the ‘Name Reference List’ comes with a warning for individuals to desist from making extracts or copies without written permission from the EC.

The results of the Special Voting (which is only allowed for general elections) will however not be declared until after the general election.

The compilation of the Special Voting list, which began on October 2, 2020, as concluded on Thursday, October 15, 2020.