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Ghana: Press focuses on three-year Covid-19 alleviation programme, others

The government's three-year COVID-19 alleviation programme to be known as “The Ghana Cares Programme” and the $3.312 billion in revenue…

The government’s three-year COVID-19 alleviation programme to be known as “The Ghana Cares Programme” and the $3.312 billion in revenue recorded by the tourism sector as a result of the ‘Year of Return’ initiative are some of the trending stories in Ghanaian newspapers on Friday.

The Times reports that the government is developing a three-year COVID-19 alleviation programme to be known as “The Ghana Cares Programme” to help rescue the economy from the clutches of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ministry of Finance is developing a three-year COVID-19 alleviation and revitalisation of enterprise support programme; ‘The Ghana Cares Programme’ to help stabilise and revitalise the country’s economy.
“We are confident that this programme will lead us on a journey of achieving a Ghana Beyond Aid,” Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta told Parliament in Accra yesterday.
 The newspaper also said that the Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, has said that the tourism sector as a result of the ‘Year of Return’ initiative has recorded US$3.312 billion in revenue.
“Mr Speaker, by the end of the year (2019), international arrivals reached 1.13 million from 956,372 in 2018, representing a 27 percent growth which was above the global average of five percent.
“The average expenditure per tourist increased from US$2,708 in 2018 to US$2,931 in 2019.
“The receipt attributed to tourism is therefore US$3.312 billion,” Mrs. Oteng-Gyasi, the Member of Parliament for Prestea/Huni-Valley indicated in Parliament in Accra yesterday.
The Graphic reports a Ghanaian entrepreneur, Josephine Marie Godwyll, is among eight entrepreneurs from sub-Saharan Africa, to be awarded funding to harness engineering and business skills of their organisations to help tackle the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
A statement issued by the British High Commission in Accra said the funding was initiated by the Royal Academy of Engineering in early April as the virulence and rapid transmission of COVID-19 gripped countries around the world.

The initiative is with the support of the UK Government’s funding through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and Project CARE (COVID Africa Rapid Entrepreneurs).

The newspaper also said that banks in Ghana have so far supported businesses in different forms to the tune of GH¢3.6 billion, to keep them afloat and rescue others from the vagaries of the pandemic, the President of the Ghana Bankers Association (GAB), Mr. Alhassan Andani, has said.
The amount, he said, was in the form of new loans; rescheduling of loan repayments and interest write offs, among other things.
Mr. Andani said in interview on Thursday that banks in the country met to discuss the various economic actors to ascertain the impact of the pandemic on their businesses, hence the support to ensure that they stayed afloat.

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