The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, says Ghana will work to become more self-reliant after the COVID-19 pandemic.
He says the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda which encapsulates policies such as the Planting for Food and Jobs, will enable Ghana recover much more quickly from the devastating effects of the pandemic.
The Ghana Beyond Aid is a national transformation agenda which calls for transforming the economy, which is focused on the production and exports of raw materials, to one based on manufacturing and high value addition.
He spoke to the state broadcaster, GBC, after the Virtual Eid-ul Fitr celebration at the station.
“The President has already placed Ghana on a trajectory that allows us to come out of this crisis relatively quickly. As you know, the post COVID economic architecture in the world is going to be one of countries that are going to be more self-reliant. You are going to look at self-reliance in food production, manufacturing and in services, that is really the Ghana Beyond Aid that the President started talking about way before this pandemic came into being. And so that trajectory that we have already embarked upon will allow us to recover from this pandemic much more quickly than probably other pandemics,” he said.
Already, the Bank of Ghana is suggesting that the national economy has entered a contraction phase right from March, the first month in which Ghana confirmed cases of coronavirus.
According to the Bank, the national economy contracted by 2.2 percent in March 2020, as compared to a growth of 5.6 percent for the same period last year due to leading indicators of economic activity during the first quarter of the year such as the restrictions, social distancing, and the partial lock-down measures introduced by government in the middle of March.
Also, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has stated that the COVID-19 fight could cost Ghana about 9.5 billion cedis, pushing the country’s budget deficit to about 6.5 percent.
However, as the novel Coronavirus is still spreading, many stakeholders are urging countries to look inwardly to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. Countries which are dependent on other countries are thinking of how they can help themselves and rely upon themselves for survival.
COVID-19: An opportunity to boost industrialization in Africa
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Year Zero Report, by policy and advocacy think tank, AfroChampions Initiative is also urging African countries to take advantage of the pandemic to boost African industrialization as there could be potential positive effects on regional and local manufacturing.
It says that,“Countries are expected to re-balance their over-reliance on distant suppliers in favour of more proximate suppliers as this could have some positive impact on ongoing efforts to boost African regional value chains.”
Also, a new report by auditing firm, KPMG, analyzing the economic impact of COVID-19 on Ghana, has stated that that Ghana can improve Agriculture Production and Export by looking at the opportunity to boost domestic production and consumption of some food commodities, such as rice, maize, cassava, yam and chicken.