Stakeholders in Bolga engaged on validation of VNR draft report

The National African Peer Review Mechanism Governing Council (NAPRM-GC) in partnership with the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), has engaged stakeholders in Bolgatanga on the validation of Ghana’s Voluntary National Review (VNR) draft report.

Ghana is part of about 51 countries that would present a VNR report on the implementation of the 2030 agenda in New York at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July this year.

The review facilitates the sharing of experiences including; successes, challenges and lessons learnt, with the view to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and form the basis for discussion at the HLPF.

The VNR process has gone through series of consultations and reviews, and a draft report has been prepared and follow-up activities to finalise the report including validation.

Madam Lovia Afoakwa, Planning Analyst at the NDPC, who gave an overview presentation on the VNR report, said the validation process was done across all the regions. 

“We are here to validate the data and whether the information that we have is reflective of our experiences here.”

She said Ghana’s VNR focused on policy and regulatory environment for SDGs and Agenda 2063, progress of implementation of all 17 SDGs, thematic reviews on youth engagement in SDGs, “Leave No One Behind” and synergies among the SDGs.

Madam Afoakwa indicated that planning processes were inclusive in the participatory stages, and said Agenda 2030 was consistent with Ghana’s constitution. “Legal frameworks are in place to promote, enforce and monitor equality and non-discrimination on the basis of sex, age, location etc,” she added.

Touching on contribution of the youth to the SDGs, the Planning Analyst said young people were referred to as “torchbearers” for development, as they were both beneficiaries and partners.

“They play pivotal roles in the implementation of the SDGs. Young people are being engaged in various ways at various levels to achieve the goals.”

Madam Afoakwa mentioned high unemployment, low participation in policy decision making, access to quality education, peace and security, low support for young entrepreneurs, increasing online fraud, inadequate opportunity for skills development, low knowledge of contraceptives and limited attention from parents and guardians as concerns of the youth.

She explained that “leaving no one behind” meant that the aged, children, rural population, persons living with disability, the unemployed and prisoners were all involved in the exercise.

Madam Winifred Asare, the Principal Programmes Officer of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) said the APRM was a member of the Implementation Coordination Committee (ICC) of the SDGs.

She said the committee was put together by the government to help coordinate all the SDGs activities in the country. “We want to go as low to the grassroots as possible.”

Madam Asare said the Bolga meeting was the second round, the first round was done in Ho in the Volta Region, Suhum in the Eastern Region and Apam in the Central Region. “It was a success because we were able to bring together the calibre of people who cut across the citizenship.”

Mr Pontius Pilate Baba Apaabey, the Upper East Regional Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) who chaired the workshop, urged participants including; tailors and dressmakers, traders, security personnel, students, persons living with disability, the media, teachers among others, to contribute and share their experiences so that the report would reflect the real situation.-GNA

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