Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta affirmed that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government will continue to work towards mitigating the burdens imposed by the global impact of Covid-19 on Ghanaians as it similarly commits to tackle the social ills of expenditure control, corruption, recurring leakages and low productivity.
He said although Government has not eliminated suffering, it has done more in terms of social interventions than any other Government since 1992 and certainly more in this regard than the previous NDC Governments.
The Finance Minister further disclosed that the Government has employed 295,032 unto the public sector payroll since 2017 while financial clearance totalling 72,825 has been granted in 2021 alone.
Ken Ofori-Atta made these disclosures on the floor of Parliament on Wednesday, November 17 when presenting the Budget Statement and Government’s Economic Policy for the 2022 Fiscal Year.
The Minister said Government will implement a major intervention to empower existing private sector businesses to be robust and dynamic to expand and create jobs, while giving a strong hand up to the youth.
He announced the development of the YouStart Initiative which proposes to use GH¢1 billion each year to catalyse an ecosystem to create 1 million jobs and in partnership with financial institutions and development partners, raise another 2 billion Cedis.
The Minister added that the local Banks have agreed to a package that will result in increasing their SME portfolio up to GH¢ 5 billion over the next 3 years, resulting in an unprecedented historic 10 billion Cedis commitment to the private sector and YouStart over the next 3 years.
According to him, the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) and partner financial institutions, will serve as the implementing arms of YouStart and Entrepreneurs will be able to apply for support through a dedicated YouStart online portal.
The YouStart initiative is a vehicle for supporting young entrepreneurs to gain access to capital, training, technical skills and mentoring to enable them launch and operate their own businesses.
It will provide the youth with training in the form of skills development, entrepreneurial support and business advisory services as well as funding such as access to competitive credit and starter packs and enterprise promotion.
The Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) and partner financial institutions, will serve as the implementing arms of the YouStart which will also provide mentoring and access to markets including portals to facilitate digital linkages between youth-led enterprises and other businesses and relevant Government agencies.
The NEIP will also engage Faith-Based Organisations as partners for the delivery of essential artisanal skills, business competitions, and feasibility studies and introduction to financing institutions with a commitment of up to 10% of GOG contribution to the YouStart Programme.
Below is the full budget statement