Ghana's private sector has been lauded for its commitment and support in helping the government to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Minister of Planning Professor George Yaw Gyan-Baffour, so far COVID-19 response efforts from the private sector have been overwhelming with the establishment of the Ghana Private Sector COVID-19 Trust Fund.
Professor Gyan-Baffour was speaking at the third Virtual Accra Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Investment Fair in Accra on the theme: “Regaining Momentum in SDGs Implementation during and post COVID-19.”
In 2018, the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with Ghana Investment Promotions Centre and the SDGs Advisory Unit, launched the annual SDGs Investment Fair to encourage private financing of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The fair aims at facilitating collaborations between investors and sustainable public and private sector project/businesses.
He said the pandemic had come as a shock, and disrupted plans in achieving some of the SDGs.
The Planning Minister said despite the challenges, “we need to be consistent and resilient in achieving the goals of the SDGs.”
He said the pandemic had exposed the nation's infrastructure gaps, which indicated that a lot needed to be done to close “our infrastructure gap.”
Prof Baffour called on the private sector to take advantage and opportunities presented by the COVID-19 pandemic to expand their operations.
He said there was a need for financing options for small and medium enterprises for sustainability in the acceleration of achievements of the SDGs.
The Minister said in the era of the new normal, innovation, information communication technology in education and telemedicine was needed to drive the system.
Mr Charles Adu Boahen, the Deputy Minister of Finance said COVID-19 had great impact on some of the goals of the SDGs and called for partnership to drive the implementation of the goals.
He said the government had launched a 100 billion “Ghana CARES” Programme to mitigate the economic challenges by the pandemic and urged players in the private sector to take advantage of the programme to revamp their busineses.
Mr Adu Boahen said it was part of Government's resolute steps to get the economy back on track, and working to “anchor the comprehensive transformation of our society.”
He said the initiative had two phases: a Stabilisation Phase that would run from July to the end of the year (2020); and a medium-term Re-vitalisation Phase (to be implemented from 2021-2023) to revitalise the economy and accelerate the Ghana Beyond Aid transformation agenda.
“The stabilisation phase of the Ghana CARES programme will ensure food security, protect businesses and worker incomes, strengthen the health system, attract private investments and support Ghanaian businesses”, he said.
Mr Adu Boahen said the world needed to put in place a recovery plan on the impact of the pandemic, and that Africa needed to have a marshal plan to continue to manage its human and developmental agenda in the post-COVID-19 era.
The 2020 Virtual Accra SDGs Investment Fair is to provide a platform to explore new opportunities within the new normal, identify innovative ways to access financial resources during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery, share experiences relating to individual and corporate adaptability in the wake of Covid-19 and rebuilding momentum for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Accra SDGs Investment Fair brought together high-level government Officials, community facilitators, investors, civil society organisations, entrepreneurs, knowledge institutions and other stakeholders to help develop sustainable network for post-COVID-19 strategies that will support Government's vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid.
Topics under discussion include; “The Path from Response to Recovery and Resilience, Socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on the SDGs, A post-COVID-19 vision of sustainable enterprises, Financing for Development and the New Normal: Innovations in Education.”