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SECTION A

1.      Read the following passage carefully and provide the appropriate punctuation marks to make it meaningful.

THE PASSAGE

Yesterday I visited the Kumasi Mall on adventure and met my friend Tricia she was surprised to see me after 30 years She screamed Hei Nello what are you doing here I replied I came there on an adventure window shopping When I asked her whether she was alone she indicated that she was there with her sister friend Nancy we decided to walk together to explore available products some items we saw were cutlery stationery furniture toiletries electrical gadgets and confectionaries in fact it was a time for a reunion of lost friendship nancy asked what a comb-binder was and I responded combbinder an electric gadget used to grill bread since it was getting late we left the Mall fulfilled 

2.      Summarize the key issues in the following passage in a paragraph of about 200 words. 

THE PASSAGE

Ghana has reported over 1000 COVID-19 cases and taken several measures to stop its spread, including closure of borders and lockdown in 40 districts and municipalities. Similar measures are in place in at least 40 countries on the continent – including neighbouring Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo. Because of land border closures, we can expect the economies of 46 border districts of Ghana to be negatively impacted. This is true for border economies across the 40 African countries that have closed land borders – leading to a significant disruption in supply chain and reduction in consumption. In addition, the restrictions on movement will also impact individuals and businesses in those localities. Hopefully this pain will not be long, and sooner or later, we shall begin the process of recovery.

The COVID-19 impact pathway will be more than the supply-chain disruptions – across the land borders, seaports and the airports, although they will likely be a big part of it. The restricted movements, either because of lockdowns or people choices, will result in a drop-in consumption and business investments. This has informed an online survey, a COVID-19 Business Tracker, initiated by the Ghana Statistical Services (GSS) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to assess the impacts of the pandemic on businesses and to provide data to inform policy choices.

The negative impacts of supply-chain disruptions will largely hurt people and businesses connected to external supply chains, and economies of border districts. Person-to-person businesses like hairdressers, bars, and micro-finance institutions will also be hurt by movement restrictions, which could lead to jobs losses. It would be important to monitor and address any signs of social distress in these difficult times. Hopefully the idea of borderless Africa and the continental free trade area will not suffer as a result.

The impact of COVID-19 is not only negative. Businesses with direct external competition will get relief and may be strengthened post COVID-19 as global companies take longer to recover. Some businesses will shift to new opportunities to fill the void brought about by increased demand due to COVID-19 (e.g. hand sanitizers, gloves or masks) or due to irregular importation of specific commodities and services.

Ghana, like most countries in Africa and across the world, has been bold in taking actions to mitigate the immediate impacts of measures put in place to stop the spread of COVID19. The COVID-19 National Trust Fund, which has so far received GH¢8.75 million and counting, will likely be part of the SDG Financing architecture. The Coronavirus Alleviation Programme is meant to mitigate the immediate impact of COVID-19 on business and household and therefore address the disruption in economic activities. It is essential that these measures form the building blocks for businesses and the economy to recover and build back better.

The good news is that one day COVID-19 will end. People and families, small and large businesses, and local and national economies will have to recover and build back better. The most important question is when should it start? The best time should have been yesterday or now. It is essential that we recognize that recovery will not just be about money, there will be quick wins through policy choices.

First, COVID-19 recovery pathway will probably begin with gradual easing of the supply-chain disruptions across all borders. The conditions for easing will depend on the evolution of COVID-19 within Ghana as well as within our neighbours of Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo. It is probably the same principal with Ghana’s trading partners on the continent and beyond.

As we contain COVID-19, it may be useful to build on existing cross border collaboration efforts such as COVID-19 surveillance to organize recovery structures and actions. It is important that such recovery structures are coordinated with the national leadership of the four countries and possibly within the continent.

The second recovery pathway relates to businesses that have taken on the role to produce goods and services that would otherwise have been imported. This is certainly a critical one because this is at the heart of accelerating industrialization and manufacturing. The world economy is not expected to fully recover until early 2022. It is an opportunity to quickly remove any policy bottlenecks and support such businesses to take a foothold. We should also expect a faster drive in domestic tourism and ensure tourism-related businesses are able to recover.

The third recovery pathway relates to businesses that could not operate either due to restricted movements or due to a call for social distancing. These are mainly person-toperson businesses. Commercial banks and lending institutions will be helpful with better terms. The cost of borrowing for such businesses will need to be examined further to ensure it does not sink these businesses further as they try to recover.

The fourth recovery pathway relates to harnessing new opportunities. We should, for example, expect a growth in new online businesses, and more firms taking their operations online – including person-to-person businesses.