Ghana needs $522.3 billion to meet SDGs target – Finance Minister

The government will need $522.3 billion to fully meet the country’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets by 2030.

This means Ghana would need about $52.2 billion every year to implement the SDGs, a 17-set of goals adopted by the world leaders in September 2015 at a historic United Nations summit and officially came into force on January 1, 2016 and to be achieved by 2030.

The goals include no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, gender equality, and decent work and economic growth.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, disclosed this at the2021 Accra SDG Investment Fair dubbed “The Decade of Action: Accelerating Recovery Revitalisation,” and on the theme “Building Back Better: Leveraging Partnerships and Linkages in the Decade of Action.”

Mr Ofori-Atta called on the private sector to support the government to implement the SDGs, stressing that “government can only successfully implement the Sustainable Development Goals through formalised partnerships with the Private Sector.”

That, he said, was in view of the SDG funding gap created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said before the pandemic, the financing gap to achieve the SDGs in developing countries was estimated to be US$ 2.5 – 3 trillion per year.

“And now, due to global economic uncertainty and an estimated USD 1 trillion gap in COVID-19 emergency and response spending in developing countries, as well as an estimated drop of USD 700 billion in external private finance in 2020, the annual SDG financing gap in developing countries could increase by or even exceed US$ 1.7 trillion,” he said.

Mr Ofori-Atta said Parliament of Ghana had passed a Public Private Partnership (PPP) Act in December 2020, to among others; help facilitate access to more private sector finance for development.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic have had a deleterious effect on the economy, businesses and individuals, hampering the efforts to implement the targets of the SDGs.

“Where our focus should have been on accelerated actions to realise the SDGs, we find ourselves focusing on a resilient recovery – restoring growth, rebuilding a better and more robust economy and society, one capable of withstanding future events like the coronavirus pandemic,” Mr Ofori-Atta, said, adding that “ We have had to backtrack in order to move forward.”

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Yofi  Grant who delivered the keynote, address,  said the COVID-19 pandemic had  triggered the worst economic and social crisis,  deepened pre-existing structural inequalities, widened existing gaps, and imperiled progress towards realising the 2030 agenda of the SDGs.

He emphasised that the road to recovery and building back better post COVID-19 lies within the same SDGs.

Mr Grant said the Government, in partnership with the World Economic Forum, has developed the SDGs Country Financing Roadmap (CFR) with the primary objective to unlock capital to finance SDGs.

“The UN and the Government of Ghana are also working on the Socio-Economic Response and Recovery Plan (SERRP) which seeks to address the country’s health challenges, mitigate any socio economic impacts of the pandemic and support Ghana in its efforts to Build Back Better,” he said.

Mr Grant said GIPC in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme was developing the SDG Investor Map.

He said when completed the SDG Investor Map  would help  provide information on investment opportunities which had the potential to contribute to the country’s sustainable development goals at the click of a button, adding that the Ghana SDG Investor Map was focused on five  priority areas, namely agriculture, infrastructure, information communication technology, healthcare and consumer goods.

KINGSLEY ASARE

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