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Limited human and institutional capacity identified as obstacle to achieving SDGs

A report on capacity imperatives for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 has identified limited human and institutional capacity as an obstacle to the successful implementation of the SDGs in the country.

It stated that implementing agencies, sectors and ministries lacked personnel with the requisite skills to achieve results as well as inadequate, unpredictable and unsustainable resource allocation to build capacity.

The report, which was the outcome of a study on Africa by the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and launched in Accra on Tuesday, further explained that a lack of good data undermined countries’ capacity to establish baselines, track performance indicators and reinforce evidence-based policy making.

“Now more than ever, building or strengthening capacity for the SDGs in Africa is not just a choice but a necessity given the commitment to implement the Agenda 2063, which is Africa’s development blueprint that mirrors the SDGs,” it said.

It recommended that African governments invest in building the capacities of Africa’s institutions and people through the provision of basic and advanced training that focuses on critical thinking, strategic planning, results-based management, resource mobilisation, coordination capacities and risk management and mitigation.

To enable effective implementation of the SDGs, the report also recommended the integration of the SDGs into national development plans and short-term expenditure frameworks as well as establishes country-led coordination units at the ministerial level along with working groups.

It reiterated the importance of involving key stakeholders including the private sector, women and youth in high-level SDG planning and decision making mechanisms.

Additionally, the report recommended collaboration between governments and civil society groups to advance the transformation agenda for mutual benefits.

Discussing the report, Executive Secretary of ACBF, Professor Emmanuel Nnadozie, called for mass development of critical technical skills which were necessary for the achievement of SDGs through innovation, training and research.

He urged stakeholders to view and present the SDGs as opportunities for mutually beneficial partnerships for all, especially governments, private sector and academia to develop African’s skills and empower women and youths.

Minister of Planning, Professor Gyan Baffour, said Ghana was committed to the SDGs leading to the roll out of several programmes and policies by government aimed at improving the lives of the people.

In this regard, he noted that a comprehensive review has already been undertaken on the programmes to assess the impact, build on the progress and address bottlenecks that impeded implementation.

As confirmed in the report, he said, Ghana’s challenges in implementing the SDGs were lack of capacity in the Civil Service and among civil societies and lack of statistical capacity needed to monitor Agenda 2030.

He stated that government values capacity building and would continue to work with development partners, private sector, academia, civil society groups and other stakeholders to implement recommendations that would spur realisation of the SDGs.

BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS

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