President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has launched a US$10 million grant to support small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) in the tourism, hospitality and creative arts industry, with about 60 percent of the amount expected to go to female-owned enterprises.

The initiative comes in the wake of the global economic meltdown caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which has affected many enterprises in the tourism and hospitality industry.

The US$10 million grant aims to support businesses in the sector to bounce back, expand, and create jobs to support the growth of the country’s economy.

The amount forms part of the Ghana Tourism Development Programme, and is expected to help assist operators in the sector to modernize and improve tourist sites, restaurants, and tour operations to make the sector attractive and competitive.

President Akufo-Addo said about 1,500 SMEs were expected to benefit from the grant provided by the World Bank and urged beneficiaries to make judicious use of the investments.

The President expressed his government’s commitment to supporting the tourism sector to boost revenue and create jobs.

Acknowledging the role of the sector in the growth and development of the country’s economy, he said “it is in this direction that the government through the Ministry of Tourism Art and Culture is supporting SMEs in the tourism, hospitality, and creative sector”

The Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ibrahim Awal, in a brief remark, was optimistic that the measures the government had put in place would help position the country’s economy on the path of growth.

He said the government’s programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would enable the country to get access to funds to help develop the economy.

The Country Director of the World Bank Group, Pierre Laporte also expressed confidence in the government’s ability to bounce back from the economic challenges the nation was currently going through The Objective of the Ghana Tourism Development Project, a government of Ghana Project is being funded by the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group.

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) is the project implementing agency. The project is to improve tourism performance by upgrading tourism sites and developing the capacities of players in the sector to generate increasing tourism revenues.

The project, which began in 2018, has four main components which are; to see strengthen the tourism enabling environment; develop tourism sites and destinations; tourism enterprise support and project management.

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