More than 160,000 direct and indirect jobs have been created, especially for the youth, who have been mobilised to establish agro-processing factories in 58 districts as part of the One District One Factory Initiative.
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, said as of June 2023, 126 factories were operational nationwide, adding that in line with the Government’s unwavering commitment to industrialisation, the implementation of the Initiative was on course.
The Minister said this when he presented the 2023 Mid-Year Budget Statement and Policy Review to Parliament in Accra.
The Review was to provide an update on economic performance for the first–half year of 2023 and the outlook for the rest of the year; provide an update on the implementation of the IMF-supported Post COVID-19 -Programme of Economic Growth (PC-PEG), including an update on structural reforms and the progress towards achieving the quantitative performance criteria and indicative targets.
It was also to provide an update on the Debt Restructuring Programme; present a revised 2023 fiscal framework which aligns with the IMF-supported PC-PEG; and outline the government’s Growth Strategy to drive the recovery process.
He said in the 2023 Budget, the Government outlined a series of measures to mitigate the impact of the severe economic challenges and to preserve growth.
These include the implementation of flagship programmes such as One District One Factory, Planting for Food and Jobs (PfJ) – Phase II, Strategic Anchor Industries, Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP), GhanaCARES, YouStart, Agenda 111, among others.
The Minister said within the context of the IMF-backed PC-PEG, these interventions assume greater significance in promoting growth and medium-term fiscal consolidation.
“In addition, as stated earlier, we are pursuing a social protection agenda to mitigate the impact of adjustment on the vulnerable,” he added.
He said as of May 2023, total payment under the Agenda 111 Initiative stood at US$189.34 million, with 83 active project sites in all 16 regions of the country.
The Initiative was to address the infrastructure deficit in the health sector and improve healthcare outcomes in the country.
On agriculture and food security, the Planting for Food and Jobs had brought substantial improvements in Ghana’s agriculture sector.
The Minister said this had resulted in increased food security, employment along agricultural value chains, and accessibility of raw materials for developing industries.
The programme has directly contributed to increased crop yields for major food staples such as maize, rice, and soya by 135 per cent, 67 per cent and 18 per cent respectively within the period.
He said after a comprehensive review, the Government was finalising PfJ Phase II to ensure more efficient and targeted support for the agricultural sector.
The key elements of Phase II are the Inputs Credit System, Storage and Distribution Infrastructure, Commodity Trading and Digitised Platform.
In the area of the GhanaCARES “OBAATAN PA” programme, Mr Ofori-Atta said, “I can report that efforts toward promoting commercial agriculture, building technological capability, and advancing digitalisation under the programme are on track.”
He said last year, he indicated that the Government was spearheading the Economic Enclaves Project (EEP) to establish ‘growth poles’ in key locations, including Kasunya (Greater Accra), Kumawu (Ashanti) and Banda (Oti Region).
The approach under the EEP is to provide agriculture infrastructure and land development support to entrepreneurial youth and the formal private sector.
He said to enhance production and value-addition in the enclaves, the provision of ancillary services such as housing, training facilities, irrigation canals, farm roads, and electricity has also commenced.
He said to equip participants with entrepreneurial skills, investment readiness tools as well as coaching and mentoring services under the YouStart initiative, 26,626 persons nationwide have received business advisory support services.
“We will continue to work with participating financial institutions, National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme and Ghana Enterprises Agency to provide soft loans and managerial skills for the setting-up of youth-led enterprises,” he added.
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