President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reiterated Ghana’s commitment to meet the 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the required timeframe in spite of current economic turmoil.
He said the SDG’s provided the framework for an expansive development agenda for the nation despite the economic and geopolitical challenges.
“Government will continue its march to make bold decisions to our current challenges whilst ensuring the country is on the right trajectory, for an inclusive and sustainable development to enable the next generation live free from poverty and conflicts.
“If we are successful in achieving the SDG’s that will propel us to the future that we all want and therefore we must take urgent action now,” he intimated.
The president’s remarks were contained in a speech read on his behalf by the Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Prof. George Gyan-Baffour as the NPDC launched the Voluntary National Review (VNR) report last Friday at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC).
This is Ghana’s second VNR report following the maiden one in 2019.
The decision to conduct a second voluntary national review according to the President in these challenging times reflected Ghana’s commitment towards the goals of the SDGs and the principles underlying Africa’s 2063 growth agenda towards the Africa envisioned.
He said the 2021 SDG report that highlighted 124 million people, set back with extreme poverty, the worse seen in a generation coupled with rising increase in food and fuel prices triggered by post COVID-19 complications and exacerbated by the Russia–Ukraine war called for an ambitious pursuit of the SDGs.
He identified that the financing gap which was annually estimated at 45 billion by the World Economic Forum(WEF) was the major drawback to the accelerated implementation and called for smart funds mobilisation and private investment.
“We can only achieve this objective if the annual financing gap is seen as a business opportunity by the private sector and adoption of innovative means to mobilise the much needed revenue,” he noted.
The 2030 agenda for SDGs was adopted by all United Nations (UN) member states in 2015 and provided a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership.
The 2022 VNR report projected Ghana’s success across the various SDG’s.
In goal one (end poverty in all its forms everywhere) it touted the expansion of the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP) programme from 332,200 households in 2019 to 344,023 households which translated into benefits for 1.7 million individuals in 2021 as well as gains in the National School Feeding Programme despite a general increase in the poverty levels.
Goal two (end hunger) acknowledged that a total of 1,736,510 farmers benefited from subsidised and improved seeds with goal three (healthy living ) touched on expansion of drone services in health care delivery to areas difficult to access and the vaccine development programme.
Goal four (Quality education) indicated that the school feeding programme, in 2021 reached 3.4 million elementary, lower and upper school children. Goal five (Gender equality) showed that women’s participation in political and public life have averagely improved as at 2021 however, it fell short of the target for the year. Also, unemployment rate among the population over 15 years and older was higher for female than males despite targeted programmes for girls to get learn more diversified skills.
Goal 15 (life on land) showed that the National Afforestation Programme (NAP) in 2021 led to a green planting exercise with approximately 20m trees planted nationwide.
The UN Resident Coordinator, Charles Abani, commended Ghana’s leadership on the SDG’s and giant strides made but did not shy away from the fact that a lot still had to be done. He assured Ghana of the UN’s support and added that Ghana was on the right track to achieving the SDG’s within the stipulated timeframe if bottlenecks such as funding and digital transformation was enhanced.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU