The government, through the Ministry of Finance, has secured a $30m AfDB grant to support  the economic recovery of selected institutions.

The Post COVID-19 Skills Development and Productivity Enhancement Project (PSDPEP) seeks to build health-related skills in higher education, restore livelihoods, strengthen public communication and create jobs among the youth and women. 

 About $4 million would be given to Small and Medium Enterprises as loans at a reduced rate to enable them to withstand the impacts of the pandemic. 

 The PSDPEP beneficiaries include Social Investment Fund, Microfinance and Small Loans Centre, the Biotechnology Centre, the School of Nursing and Midwifery, and the Microbiology Centre. 

The rest are the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Vocational Training Institute. 

Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development inaugurating the steering and technical committees to supervise the implementation, commended the AFDB for the support, “especially at the time where donor funding was weaning”. 

He said PSDPEP’s goals were in line with the Government’s National Decentralisation, Policy and Strategy Programme that focused on local economic development, physical decentralisation and rural development.

“Health is a major component and we are happy this is coming on board to help. In meeting the targets of this project majority of our strategies on growth and development will be actualised,” he said. 

 Mr Amoah advised the committees to work assiduously to ensure the expected outcomes were met timely and successfully. 

 The Deputy Minister also urged the committees to consider issues of cost-efficiency and cost-effectiveness.  

 The Committees have been tasked to, among others, ensure that all project beneficiary institutions perform their roles satisfactorily and also ensure that the project implementation failures are corrected expeditiously. 

The membership comprises officials of the Ministries of Local Government and Rural Development and Decentralisation, Education, Health, Finance, Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation. 

 The rest are the Gender, Children, and Social Protection, the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations; the University of Ghana, MASLOC; the Ministry of Information, the Ghana Statistical Service, and the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA). 

The Project Technical Committee will regularly review project implementation and report to the Project Steering Committee and its membership of all project beneficiaries.  

 Mr Kofi Frimpong, the Executive Director, Social Investment Fund, said the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many sectors of the economy, especially the health and small and medium enterprises, hence the focus of the project on skills development in those areas.  

He stated that the credit and entrepreneurship arm of the project was expected to benefit at least 24,800 directly and 50,000 indirectly through the Bank’s Youth Entrepreneurship and Investment Fund (YEIB). 

Mr Emmanuel Fordjour, Desk Head of AfDB at the Ministry of Finance, said the project was well thought-out and that the GNA, would see some of its offices renovated and re-tooled to deliver on its mandate. 

The University of Ghana would be empowered to be able to develop vaccines. 

 Mrs Yvonne Quansah, the Director, External Resource Mobilisation and Economic Relations at the Ministry of Finance, who Chairs the PSDPEP Steering Committee, gave an assurance that it would discharge its duties to ensure the effective implementation of the Project.