Former President, John Mahama has charged African leaders to actively offer funds and tax waivers to Small and Medium-Sized Businesses on the continent to help reduce unemployment as the continent tries to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He made the remarks while delivering the keynote address at the 3rd annual edition of the African Economic Congress. The 2021 edition of the African Economic Congress is themed ‘Accelerate Africa: Building back better’.
Former President Mahama also indicated in his virtual address that governments on the continent must focus not just on the quantum of growth but on the quality of growth.
“The COVID-19 lockdown period has demonstrated clearly that the success of the nation depends on businesses in addition to its SMEs which employ millions and is a key driver of development. The quest for FDI is great, but the mantra for development also demands that we improve our own SMEs. SMEs have limited capacity to access funds, so let government offer SME funds and tax waivers to stimulate them to expand and employ more of our young people and people with disabilities.”
“Governments must also invest strategically in manufacturing to limit the heavy burden of imports in African economies as this will create more jobs. I’m confident that Africa can emerge positively from the challenges arising from this pandemic. As Africa builds back, priority must be placed on the quality of growth not just in the quantum of growth,” he added.