The corona virus started in December 2019 in China and later spread to other countries in the beginning of 2020. Ghana had its share in the first two months of that year. With the virus ability to spread fast and its life-threatening ability, the World Health organization declared it as pandemic. In order to curb this problem of spreading, all countries in the world were forced to shutdown its borders and made the members/citizens to stay indoors leading to little working activities.
Ghana was one of the first countries in Ghana to embark on such journey. But unlike other countries, ours was a partial one. This was done to prevent overcrowding and other activities that facilitated the spread of the pandemic. This move had negative economic consequences on the Ghana and the whole world at large but as our President said, they know how to bring back the economy to life but not human beings so they had to do that for the safety of the citizens.
All lot of people lost their jobs and businesses crushed down. This article has findings from the survey from the IPA(Innovations for Poverty Action) and a lesser extent to that of the world bank.
In May 6 last year, the IPA through a random phone call surveillance reached about 1357 people to ask on how the pandemic had affected their jobs. In the act, they saw that many people who were working before the pandemic had either been laid off or had little working hours. The RECORV survey used 29 February as reference date for “pre-pandemic”. Women according to the chart above are seen to be at the more suffering end with low income. This is because Ghana has the largest share of women-owned businesses worldwide, 46 percent of the country’s businesses are owned by women.
The Covid-19 economic shock brought about the reduction of wages for about 770,000(25.7 percent of total workforce) persons, reduction hours for over 700,000 workers and laid off of over 42,000workers. Below is the chart for working hours difference between February and May 2020 alone.The small and Medium enterprises suffered the more. These enterprises make up of about 90 percent of total businesses in Ghana and contributing to about 70 percent of Ghana’s GDP.
In order to help these holding pillars of Ghana’s economy from falling, the Government of Ghana through the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) and in collaboration with the National Board of Small Scale industries(NBSSI) issued a 600 million cedis loan program to be given to these businesses and were given a time duration of 1 year moratorium and two year repayment period.
It is worth noting that the private sectors suffered a great deal as many had little or no emergency funds to fall on.
Reference: www. poverty-action.org.
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