President Akufo-Addo has charged players in the tourism, hospitality and creative arts sectors to institute good corporate governance in their businesses as same is the most effective way for them to attract investors.
Addressing attendees of a Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture event at Kempinski hotel, today 6 Jily 2022, to launch the “Tourism SME Grants”, under the Ghana Tourism Development Project, themed; “Empowering SMEs for Sustainable Tourism Development”, President Akufo-Addo said currently in the global business space, only properly governed organizations attract investors.
“Even though Ghana can boost of several well-round companies that have demonstrated commitment to good corporate governance, poor corporate governance has been sighted as the major factor that has led to the collapse of many businesses in the country”.
“As Ghanaian companies compete globally to attract foreign investment partnerships, they must be guided by the fact that investors are prepared to pay a premium for shares in a well governed company” President Akufo-Addo said.
“The onus is thus on business owners to position their businesses properly for foreign investment by ensuring that they implement and practice good corporate governance” the President admonished.
The 2022 grants according to President Akufo-Addo are in three categories. First is COVID support, second, is SME support and lastly, site upgrade.
He noted that the grant in its three categories, are intended to transform the tourism sector to stimulate economic growth in order to create jobs.
“It is expected that 1,500 SMEs will benefit from the grant support. In 2021, government through the Ministry of Arts and Culture, disbursed the cedi equivalent of 10 million United States dollars to some 1,400 SMEs” the President said.
This year’s grant, President Akufo-Addo indicated “will target some 60% women as beneficiaries because majority of the operators in the sector are female”.
The project, according to the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, constitutes an essential element of efforts of his ministry and government for the matter, to assist the tourism industry.
He called on industry players to take advantage of the grant, access it and use the funds judiciously to grow their businesses.
Rep of Industry players
Dr Edward Ackah-Nyameke Jnr., President of Ghana Hotels Association, expressed the appreciation of members of his association to government for the initiative aimed at helping the tourism section of the country.
He called on government to ensure that disbursement of the grants is carried out in an effective manner to reach the industry players hardly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of the Russia invasion of Ukraine.
Country Director of the World Bank, Pierre Laporte on his part, said the tourism development project, which is funded by the institution he represents, signals the growing relations between Ghana and the World Bank.
He added that the Ghana tourism development project, is a perfect vehicle through which Ghana can grow its economy in these difficult times in the global economy.
He charged the beneficiaries of the grant to ensure that they invest the grants in their businesses and to have something to show in the future for what they may receive.
The Ghana Tourism Development Project, is a Government of Ghana Project, funded by the International
Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group.
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), on the other hand, is the Project Implementing Agency.
The project’s main objective is to improve tourism performance by upgrading tourism sites and developing the capacities of players in the sector which will in effect, lead to an increase in Ghana’s tourism revenues.
GTDP focus components
The Project has four (4) main Components. First is the strengthening of the tourism enabling environment by way of provide training and develop capacity of sector players, as well as market Ghana’s tourism sites globally.
Second, developing tourism sites and destinations through the provision of upgrade support for publicly owned sites and to improve access to these sites.
Tourism enterprise support, is the third area of focus. This will be done by providing financial and technical support for private tourism sector players.
The last of the four components is project management. This will be achieved by providing and develop human/administrative resources as well as provide the requisite equipment for the project.