Despite the negative impact of COVID-19 on businesses in Ghana, the American Chamber of Commerce-Ghana(AmCham), has urged its members to continue providing financial, logistical and technological support to the government to help fight the pandemic.
A survey conducted by the Chamber in March shows that 50 percent of American businesses operating in Ghana have been severely impacted by COVID-19.
According to the Chamber, the aim of the survey was to assess the impact of the outbreak of COVID-19 and highlight potential outcomes for American businesses operating in Ghana.
The survey, which covered a wide range of industries including manufacturing, oil and gas, transport and education found that only 35 percent of businesses had plans in place to preserve business continuity and build enterprise resilience during the pandemic.
Speaking to Citi Business News, the Executive Secretary of the American Chamber of Commerce-Ghana, Simon Madjie, said 50 percent of American businesses have had their operations severely impacted by COVID-19.
“Only 35% of businesses had plans in place to preserve business continuity and build enterprise resilience during a pandemic,” he said, adding that “85% of the businesses surveyed would experience supply chain disruption should movement continue to be restricted within the country”.
Meanwhile, a press statement from the chamber said it is providing significant financial, technological and logistical resources to support the Government of Ghana’s fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“AmCham Ghana welcomes measures to combat the coronavirus, which will ensure that the virus does not spread further and protects at risk groups from COVID-19. The Chamber is poised to support the government to address logistical constraints faced by Ghana’s health sector while monitoring the impact of the pandemic across the country. We are also actively working to support frontline workers and are committed to supporting the government’s overall response to COVID-19,” Ayesha Bedwei, President of AmCham Ghana remarked.
In addition to the government’s efforts to minimize the economic impact of the pandemic, the Chamber mentioned several U.S businesses that are making significant contributions to the fight against COVID-19 across Africa and Ghana.
Contributions made by AmCham members
The Mastercard Foundation has committed approximately GHS90 million to support micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and start-ups in Ghana during the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.
The foundation is working with the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) to support three million youth 70 percent being young women, over the next 10 years.
Newmont Ghana has provided US$100,000 to support the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and the Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine to procure COVID-19 testing kits.
Newmont is supporting the Asutifi and Birim District Assemblies, and the Ahafo North Municipal Authority to support the local authorities’ efforts to fight the pandemic. Additionally, Newmont Corporation has established a US$20 million fund to help host communities, governments and employees combat COVID-19.
The Coca Cola Company and the Coca Cola Foundation have committed over US$120million to curb the spread of COVID-19.
It said the specific allocation to Ghana is currently unknown and will be announced shortly.
In addition, the company in partnership with its NGO partners, has contributed resources towards public education and has provided personal protective kits and beverages to all frontline workers.
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has provided GHS 100,000.00 to support the Government of Ghana’s COVID-19 Fund. At a global level, J&J is mobilizing resources to develop a vaccine which could potentially be approved under emergency authorization by 2021. J&J and its partners have committed over US$1billion to co-fund COVID-19 research, development and clinical trials.
Globally, Mastercard has committed US$25 million in seed funding to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, a global initiative in collaboration with Wellcome and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to speed-up the response to the COVID-19 pandemic by identifying, assessing, developing, and scaling-up treatments.
The Visa Foundation has pledged US$ 210 million in funding to support frontline NGOs and small and micro enterprises that have been financially impacted due to the pandemic. US$ 10 million of the funding will be used to provide international emergency assistance to frontline public health charities and global food aid. US $ 200 million will be provided over a five- year period to assist small and micro-enterprises globally to support the economic advancement of women.
Microsoft has made freely available one of its Office 365 Applications-Microsoft Teams-a videoconferencing, chat and team collaboration platform to help businesses, schools and individuals with remote working and learning navigate these challenging times.
IBM is supporting remote working and distance education efforts through its online learning platform (www.digitalnationafrica.com) to provide free online training on new technologies with certification and online job search engine.