Today at the Ministry of Information the first batch of beneficiaries of the World Bank‘s Ghana Tourism Development Project scheme were presented with their cheques.
Disbursements were made to the first fifteen (15) out One Thousand Four Hundred and Seventy Six (1476) organisations who applied and have gone through the vetting process. In all, an amount totalling $1.3m will be disbursed to successful applicants consisting.
The first 15 organisations who received the grants consist of theree (3) non-public tourist sites, ten (10) SME’s and two (2) training & capacity institutions. These first batch of beneficiaries are from 5 regions, namely Ashanti, Greater Accra, Volta, Eastern and Northern regions.
Addressing the Press at the Presentation, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture called on the beneficiaries to ensure that the funds are utilised for the purpose for which they were being given.
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has launched a $9 million tourism support programme to financially assist Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) within the tourism, hospitality, arts and culture sectors.
Speaking at the launch, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi said “Grant for SMEs and Tourism Enterprises” forms an aspect of the Ghana Tourism Development Project, an effort by the Government of Ghana to provide financial and technical support to develop the leisure and business tourism with grants from the International Development Agency of the World Bank”. She said work has been completed on all modalities that are required to enable the disbursement of the grants within the next few weeks. Notably among the activities is the engagement of a Grants Management Firm, an experienced entity in Grants administration whose role among others will be to reconcile the financial records of the grantee, collect and verify end-of-project information on performance targets and data and execute disbursement. A five-member Grants Committee to supervise the execution of the grant scheme has also been put in place.
“I am pleased to say that the beneficiaries to be supported under this grant scheme comprise mainly Ghanaian indigenous businesses in the tourism value chain, including micro-businesses that employ between 1 to 5 persons, small businesses that employ between 6 to 30 people, and medium businesses that employ 31 to 100 people”, she added.
The project’s intervention, again, encourages support to women-owned and or women-led businesses in the tourism sector.
Senior Minister Hon. Yaw Osafo Marfo, who performed the official launch opined that, considering that the tourism and hospitality sectors are the hardest hit in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, he hopes beneficiaries will take advantage of the Grants to provide cushioning to their businesses.
He also urged operators to “make success of the Scheme in order to attract more money,” as the $9 million is thought to be an initial facility from the World Bank.
Prospective applicants are encouraged to apply for the grants from, June 23 to July 8, 2020, online at motac.gov.gh or visitghana.com.
The Scheme, which will target up to 1,000 businesses has four components, with components (2 & 3) focused on the Grant Scheme. This include, developing non-public owned tourist sites and destinations, and providing support through a matching grant scheme for MSMEs in the tourism space with opportunities to improve their business planning, formalise their businesses etc.
The grant which is an initial fund is divided into three components namely $4m for site management, $4m for SMEs and $1m for capacity-building.
The Tourism Development Project also has four main components and these are: