Deputy Trade Minister Predicts Positive Growth In This Year's GDP Amidst COVID-19

Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka Lindsay has predicted positive growth in this year’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in spite of the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

He based his prediction on the fact that the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) has partnered with the Mastercard Foundation to support people in the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with a loan package of Ghc90 million Cedis under ‘Nkosuo’ program.

Delivering the keynote address on behalf his boss, Mr. Alan Kyeremateng, Hon Ahomka Lindsay said that the country is enjoying Father Christmas in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic as the 'Nkosuo' program will help people in the MSMEs who suffered due to the outbreak to recover and to build a resilient business to sustain the economy.

He admitted that the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises undoubtedly have been the backbone of the country’s economy as they have employed 80 percent of Ghanaians and contribute 70 percent of the GDP growth of the economy.

He added that the Akufo-Addo government enjoined to find a solution to the challenge brought to the MSMEs as a result of the pandemic as it has destabilized the businesses that strengthen the economy.

“It is clear that we must do everything we can to support this group because if we don’t, it is clear what the impact will be on the economy . . . Ghana will still register a positive GDP growth this year . . . the 'Nkosuo' partnership with Mastercard Foundation is helping us to achieve that,” he predicted.

NBSSI in partnership with Mastercard Foundation is set to introduce the COVID-19 recovery and resilience program for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country; thus, the program seeks to support them at a time such as this outbreak of the new coronavirus pandemic.

The program is designed for all micro, small and medium enterprises in the formal and informal sectors, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to apply for help. Again, the program is for the micro, small and medium enterprises in the growth sector that require additional capital to expand their business to meet growing demands for goods and services that support the fight against COVID-19.

The businesses that are not eligible to apply for the recovery and resilience program are alcohol, tobacco, and drug-related businesses, weapons manufacture and war-related activities, gambling/betting, and sex-related industries.

The program is set to target sectors such as Agri and Agro-businesses, water and sanitation, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, garment and PPE, Creative Industry, Commerce and Trade, Manufacturing, tourism and hospitality, technology, education, services, food, and beverages.

Hon. Ahomka Lindsay, however, encouraged Ghanaians especially the women in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to take advantage of the opportunity to maximize their businesses.

He added that the Akufo-Addo government has MSMEs at heart and willing to support them to thrive.