Economic activities in Ghana are expected to strengthen faster after the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines, experts have said.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with one of the leading local dailies, economic analysts noted that vaccinating people would boost the confidence of businesses and consumers.
This, according to them, will enable people to carry out their activities as they explore new business avenues for a faster recovery of the economy.
Professor Peter Quartey and Dr Said Boakye while giving their insights argued that Covid-19 vaccines rollout would also boost the confidence of business partners abroad to open up or increase trade to the country.
The government, the experts say, should set economic growth for this year to between 4.5 and five per cent on the back of the positive impact of the vaccine rollout on gross domestic product (GDP) growth.
They were giving their insights on the impact of the national and the global COVID-19 vaccination exercise, on the domestic economy which suffered its first depression in more than three decades last year on the back of the COVID-19 shock in the country.
Vaccine rollout in Ghana
Ghana is expected to end its first phase of the vaccination exercise on March 15, 2021. The phase was started on Tuesday.
By the time it comes to an end, about 600,000 people in 45 districts in three regions in the country would have been covered.
The second and mandatory doses will be issued between eight and 12 weeks, according to a guideline issued jointly by the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service (GHS).
As of Wednesday, March 3, Bloomberg News, which tracks COVID-19 vaccines exercise, said more than 256 million doses had been given in 108 countries worldwide.
According to Dr Boakye, who is the Head of Research at fiscal policy think tank, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), a successful rollout of the vaccination exercise in the world and the country, in particular, would open up trade for a stronger rebound.
“It builds confidence in the system. The real impact came from the external sector in the form of reduced trading activities, slump in oil prices and the rest”.
“Now, with the vaccines being rolled out, people will feel defended, restrictions will begin to be eased and economic activities will return to normal and these will support growth,” he said.
Rise in crude oil prices
Dr Boakye further noted that the global vaccine campaign would help stimulate confidence and lead to a rise in crude oil prices to boost growth in the domestic petroleum sector for increased revenue generation.
The economic researcher further called for the procurement of more vaccines to cover the targeted 20 million people in the country to guard against a strong presence of the virus.
Sectors to benefit
Prof. Quartey, who is the Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana, Legon, said while he expected all sectors of the economy to benefit from the exercise, he foresaw the hospitality and the education sectors benefiting significantly.
He said people who received the vaccine would feel “defended” against the virus and, therefore, feel more confident to travel around, engage in leisure and take their children to school, among other activities.
Those, he said, would benefit the hospitality and the education sectors, which are said to be the worst hit by the pandemic.
Drone delivery of vaccines
On Tuesday, March 2, Ghana kicked off delivery of Covid-19 vaccines using drones, an exercise that is being conducted by Zipline.
This made Ghana to become the first country in the world to deploy drones on a national scale to deliver COVID-19 vaccines, which were shipped into the country on February 23, by the Covax facility.
Ghana received 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, from the Serum Institute of India (SII).
The arrival in Accra is the first batch delivered anywhere in the world by the COVAX Facility as part of an unprecedented effort to deliver at least 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to low- and middle-income countries by the end of 2021.