$10M SME grants launched under the Ghana tourism development project
The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal has said that despite the challenges being faced by the country, Ghana is one of the best countries where business and investments can be done in the West Africa sub-region. He added that the government will continue to help grow and develop the tourism sector as it is key to the government’s transformative agenda of the Akufo-Addo administration. He said this at the project launch on Wednesday, 6th July 2022 at the Kempinski Gold Coast Hotel in Accra.
Dr Edward Ackah Nyamike Jr, the president of the Ghana Hotels Association expressed excitement about the government’s interest in rolling out programs to support the tourism, arts and culture sector.
H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo – Addo, the President of the Republic of Ghana was the Guest of Honour at the launch of the $10 million SMEs Grant under the Ghana Tourism Development Project (GTDP). The President stated that the project is to help stimulate economic growth and create jobs for the youth. According to President Akufo-Addo, the grant is for COVID-19 relief, SME support to revamp businesses and site upgrades at attraction sites.
He said in 2021, the government, through the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, disbursed the Ghana cedi equivalent of $10 million to some 1,400 SMEs in the Arts and Culture industries.
According to him, the government is committed to facilitating the private sector to enable them to function effectively by building an ecosystem that will create business opportunities and provide youth jobs. He explained that the GTA is supporting 10,000 businesses under the Obatanpa Cares Programme to improve their skills set in customer service delivery, which is vital to the sector’s growth.
He also mentioned that 60% of the grant would target women in the tourism sector.
He stated that government would continue to create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive. He however added that it was incumbent on the private sector to ensure that its businesses were properly structured and governed by the principles of good corporate governance. This he said, was because good governance is key in transforming corporate organisations in frontier and emerging economies and some policies seek to plug gaps in weak corporate governance structures which are essential for creating robust economies.
The World Bank Country Director, Mr Pierre Frank Laporte also noted that Tourism Development had been one of the impressive projects in terms of performance over the past year,
He explained that this was possible through the dynamism of Dr Awal, having turned around a project that had so much trouble in a short time.
Mr Laporte said the project was restructured in June 2022 to make room for another SME grant of $10 million. The bank expects that it would help develop significantly tourist sites that will complement the injection of the funds made available.
Present at the function were the Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Kwasi Amoako-Attah, the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr Mark Okraku Mantey, the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr Akwasi Agyemang, the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Tourism Development Project, Mr Kwadwo Odame Antwi, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Mr Yoofi Grant, the High Commissioner of South Africa, H.E. Ms Lulu Xingwana and other dignitaries. Asamoah Gyan, Mz Vee, Trigmatic, and industry players in the tourism, hospitality and creative arts industry and staff of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, and its agencies were also present.
Source: MoTAC Public Relations Unit