President Akufo-Addo has announced that commercial banks in Ghana have agreed with the Finance Minister and, by extension, the government, to raise some three billion Ghana cedis (GHS 3,000,000,000.00) to support the hospitality industry and other specific industries, as part of strategic efforts to put the country on the path of recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing industry players in the hospitality sector at the Jubilee House on Tuesday, 5 May 2020, President Akufo-Addo said interest rates will also be reduced to support industries as they strive to recover from the harm caused by the novel coronavirus, (COVID-19) outbreak.
"The commercial banks have agreed with the Minister of Finance and the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to raise some three billion cedis by way of loans they are going to give specific industries. The hospitality sector is one of them and the Bank of Ghana again with the support of the Minister of Finance has worked towards reducing interest rates, and even putting in place a moratorium on the payment of principal and I believe on interest on monies. So, there is a package there that is available and accessible to you" President Akufo-Addo said.
"There is a subsequent package that is also currently being negotiated by the Minister and the Bank of Ghana for a much larger sum of money to be pumped into the economy to support and empower the more productive sectors of the economy and once again the hospitality sector is one of them", the President added.
Representatives of the Hospitality Industry
Three representatives of the several associations that constitute the hospitality sector were given the opportunity to address the President. They include Mr Kwesi Eyison, President of the Tour Operators Union of Ghana, Mrs Bella Ayayee Ahu, President of the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF) and Dr Edward Ackah-Nyamike Jnr, President of the Ghana Hotels Association. Amongst other things, the representatives indicated that the main challenge of their members as a result of the Covid-19 crisis is how to meet their recurrent expenditure, particularly the payment of the salaries of their staff. They welcomed the financial rescue plans and proposals of government and requested that some urgency should be attached to the disbursement of same by the finance ministry.
Others members of the hospitality sector who participated in the meeting are Mr Emmanuel Frimpong, Executive Secretary of the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF), Mrs Stella Appenteng, President, SKAL International- Ghana, Mr York Yeboah Orcan, President of the Car Rental Association of Ghana, Mr Isaac Sackey, President of the Chefs Association of Ghana. The rest are Mr Awuku Yirenkyi, President of the Tour Guides Association of Ghana, Kwame Bamfo (Sikkens) - MD Alisa Hotel, Kate Hasan, president. Event vendors, Mr Manish Numbair, General Manager of the Kempinski Hotel, Mr Rene Vincent Ernst, General Manager of the Labadi Beach Hotel, Theresa Ayaode, Event Organizers Association, Mr Adnan Yucuk, Chief Executive Officer of Movenpick Ambassador hotel and Mr Zibrim Yamusa of the Best Western Hotel. The Minister for Tourism and Creative Arts, Barbara Oteng Gyasi, Akwasi Agyeman, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), also participated in the meeting.