Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo has launched a $10 million financial aid to help stimulate Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the tourism and hospitality sector.
The latest package is part of government’s continuous programmes and interventions aimed at providing much needed cushioning to businesses that have been adversely affected since the onset of COVID-19 through the Ghana Tourism Development Project (GTDP).
President Akufo-Addo launching the grant today, July 6 at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra maintained that the financial support was in line with government’s efforts towards recovery and creation of jobs in the hospitality and tourism sector.
“Ghana remains committed to ensuring that the private sector is able to function effectively by building an ecosystem that creates opportunities for businesses to grow and create jobs for the youth. We are building a business-friendly environment that would enhance entrepreneurship which is a vital component of economic growth and development which has been globally embraced as an important driver of economic activities and transformation.
“The development of entrepreneurship has the potential to contribute to specific development objectives such as the employment of women and the youth. It is in this direction that the government through the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture is in this year, supporting SMEs in the tourism, hospitality and creative arts sector with the grant of $10 million to enhance and expand their business,” the President said.
Akufo-Addo added that “This year’s grant will target 60% of women as beneficiaries because majority of operators in the sector are female.”
The grants are in three categories; namely, Covid relief support, SMEs support and site upgrade. The President posited that these are intended to help transform the economic sector, to stimulate economic growth to create jobs. It is expected that 1500 SMEs would benefit from the grant.
Last year, government through the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture disbursed similar amount to some 1400 tourism SMEs.
Funded by the International Development Association of the World Bank, GTDP has the objective of improving tourism performance by upgrading tourism sites and developing the capacities of players in the sector to boost revenues from the sector.
President of the Ghana Hotels Association, Dr. Edward Ackah Nyamike Jr speaking on behalf of the private tourism and hospitality trade expressed his delight at government’s interest in rolling out programmes to support the sector while urging fair and equitable disbursement of the grant to achieve its purpose.
World Bank Country Director, Pierre Laporte said the GTDP has been one of the most impressive projects in Ghana in the past year. He however hinted that that disbursement and utilization of the grant has been “moderately satisfactory and I am confident it would be upgraded to satisfactory status.”
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal said government would continue to do what is necessary to grow and develop the sector as tourism is key in government transformative agenda.
Application for the grant is open at https://gtdp.motac.systems/introduction
Story by: Samuel Obeng Appah