The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has asked Ghanaians, particularly the youth, not to lose hope since the government is committed to reviving the economy to make life more bearable for them.
According to the Finance Minister, though the novel coronavirus has affected the Ghanaian economy badly, the government is focused on ensuring the economy bounces back. He has, thus, challenged the youth to remain resolute and focused even as government ramps up efforts to revive the economy from the coronavirus-induced setback.
The Minister made the call yesterday while speaking at the Springboard Youth Dialogue Series in Sunyani. He spoke on the theme “Repositioning: Navigating through COVID-19 and Finding Career and Business Opportunities.”
He urged the youth to think and reflect on what they can do in their own small way to transform their communities and the country as a whole even in the pandemic.
Mr Ofori-Atta said despite the havoc created by the global pandemic, the youth should begin to think about how to create opportunities for themselves even as government rolls out interventions to shore up key sectors of the economy.
He said, on the part of the government, sustaining the economy in the face of global health crises remains top of its agenda. He therefore called on the youth to support the government by taking advantage of the numerous opportunities it is creating to boost the economy.
He said the government is rolling out interventions such as the GH¢3 billion credit and stimulus package by commercial banks to revitalize industries, especially pharmaceutical, hospitality, services and manufacturing sectors.
Other measures taken by the government include strategic support in income increases and life insurance in excess of GH¢ 320 million to incentivise health workers and allied professionals; supporting households and businesses with electricity and water subsidies in excess of GH¢1.3 billion; and launching the GH¢ 100 billion Ghana CARES “Obaatanpa” programme specifically to transition the country from a commodity dependent to self-reliant industrialized nation.
Drawing lessons from his personal life from growing up in Kyebi, the Minister charged the youth not to despise their humble beginnings as it serves as their foundation, roots and determines how far they will go in life.
He recounted how he was born out of wedlock, with his mother escaping from Kyebi to go and live Kumasi. This, he said, his mother had to do in order to escape the pressure of terminating the pregnancy because his dad was from a royal family. Again, the mother had to run in order to maintain the pregnancy and not ruin the life of his father who was then pursuing further studies in the university.
“If you are a young man or woman listening to me, this is a challenge for you to be strong in your convictions. Believe in who God has made you, and do something great with your life and generations after you,” he said.
Mr Ofori-Atta said growing up as a young adult in a deprived community denied him of certain life opportunities. He added however that, that did not stop him from remaining steadfast and patient to realizing his purpose in life.
He said it was this steadfastness and patience that pushed him through primary school in Ghana, through to secondary school to securing a scholarship to study in Columbia in the United States and later pursuing his graduate studies in Yale.
He added that the pathway to greatness is often paved with pain and adversity, but the youth must endure to create something of value for themselves. He stressed that it is this endurance that led to the birth of Databank, one of the leading investment banks in Africa.