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"The Pandemic Has Exposed The Need To expedite Moving Ghana To A Situation Beyond Aid" - Akufo-Addo


President Akufo-Addo has confirmed that the deadly covid-19 has exposed the need to expedite the process of moving Ghana to a situation beyond aid.


According to President Akufo-Addo, that is why the Government has developed and is currently implementing the one hundred-billion-cedi (GH¢100 billion) Ghana CARES ‘Obaatampa’ Programme.


Speaking at Parliament on Tuesday, President Akufo-Addo said "The Obaatampa’ Programme is to transform, revitalise and modernise our economy, and return it to high and sustained growth for the next three years. The key projects under the CARES Programme include a) supporting commercial farming and attracting educated youth into commercial farming; b) building the country’s light manufacturing sector; c) developing engineering/machine tools and ICT/digital economy industries; d) fast-tracking digitalisation; e) developing Ghana’s housing & construction industry; f) establishing Ghana as a Regional Hub; g) reviewing and optimising the implementation of Government flagships and key programmes; and h) creating jobs for young people, and expanding opportunities for the vulnerable in society, including persons with disabilities"


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He further explained that the establishment of the National Development Bank, under the Ghana CARES programme, is expected to provide support to businesses in the country.


The President also mentioned that Government expects economic activity, which has already picked up, to do so even further, following the ongoing vaccination exercise, and the easing of restrictions put in place to curb the effects of the disease.


"We expect GDP growth to rebound strongly this year to nearly five percent (5%), above the IMF’s 2021 January projection of 3.2% growth for SubSaharan Africa for 2021. The medium-term outlook supported by the implementation of the Ghana CARES Programme is bright. We are confident that, together, we will emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with a stronger and more resilient economy. Mr. Speaker, if we are to oversee the rebirth and growth of our economy, our people must be healthy, and not succumb to COVID-19. On 24th February, the Government secured the first batch of vaccine doses from the COVAX Facility"


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He hinted that the vaccination campaign is currently ongoing, with two hundred and sixty-two thousand, three hundred and thirty-five (262,335) number of Ghanaians receiving the first dose of the vaccines as of 10:30 am of March 9.


He said "The target is to vaccinate twenty million Ghanaians, and Government is working hard towards realising this goal. We remain on course to taking delivery of some seventeen million, six hundred thousand vaccine doses by June, with more to come in the course of the year. I want to urge Members of the House to lend their voices to the public education campaign currently ongoing with regards to the vaccination programme"


The President also noted that the vaccine, together with strict compliance with the safety protocols, is what will allow his government to open up the country again, and embark on the quest to restore normalcy to the lives and livelihoods.


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He was of the view that Government is also mindful of a problem associated with vaccinations, and that is how to dispose of used PPEs, vials, needles, and syringes that are being used in the vaccination exercise.


President Akufo-Addo mentioned that Government is collaborating with the private sector to establish fourteen (14) medical waste treatment facilities across the country to help address, once and for all, the safe disposal of medical waste.


Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith

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