The COVID-19 pandemic has caused some negative effects on the socio-economic life of all nations including our nation Ghana. From the initial two cases recorded in early March, the figure has soared to 28,989 cases and 153 deaths recorded.
Two of our major cities were under partial lockdown for three weeks, which slowed down economic activities until 20th April when it was lifted. Other directives like social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands, etc. related to the pandemic are still enforced and observed.
As social gatherings have been put on hold, church meetings and other church-related have also ceased for about nine weeks now.
Our small businesses project among women is ongoing in West Africa. According to Joyce, the leader of the women’s group, the beneficiaries of the micro-credit still, conduct their businesses with success and are able to take care of their families in spite of the general world economic downturn. The women whose businesses are in the sale of foodstuffs are doing very well because the demand for food is the priority of households during this pandemic era.
The women whose businesses are in non-food products have reduced sales but are able to make some profits as well as they are able to easily diversify their products to those they know sell faster. The women are able to earn profits and repay their loans on schedule. As they are not able to meet as a group, they make their payments through the mobile money transfer platforms which are the most common system of payment in Africa currently.
According to Joyce, when this project started barely a year ago, no one ever thought that a pandemic that has caused economic havoc in many households was imminent. But with a little credit in the hands of women in an economically deprived northern Ghana, despite the hardships brought about by COVID-19, the women are able to keep their businesses going.
We acknowledge that we are still in difficult times; therefore we continue to cherish your prayers for the women and the success of their businesses. Pray that amid the challenges brought about by COVID-19, new opportunities will be opened up to facilitate community transformation and the spread of the Gospel among the unreached and deprived communities in Ghana.