By Abigail Annoh
The President of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly, Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces has urged government to be keen on leveraging private sector support to implement targets under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Expressing concern over the huge financial gaps member countries continue to grapple with in carrying out the development goals, the President asked government to be creative and innovative in accessing funds to achieve set targets.
“Financing remains a huge challenge for the SDGs. Globally we need about seven trillion dollars annually to implement the development goals and we really need to be serious about engaging the private sector, making them accountable and responsible if we are to make progress on the UN goals.”
Ms Garces was speaking at a meeting with the High Level Ministerial Committee (HLMC) on SDGs in Accra yesterday to review the country’s efforts at internalising the SDGs.
Chaired by the Minister of Planning, Prof. George Gyan-Baffour, the meeting briefed the UN President on strategies, achievements and possible opportunities the country could tap into to attain the 2030 agenda.
Highly impressed over strides made by the country to ‘own’ the UN goals, Ms Garces challenged government to show much commitment in engaging international financial institutions indicating that “it is our interest to work hard with funds accessed and pay back to sustain the cycle.”
In a presentation, Dr Felix Addo-Yobo, Deputy Director of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) pointed out linkages between government initiatives such as the Free Senior High School, Planting for Food and Jobs and One District, One Factory, among others.
He said initiatives taken by government including an independent audit report on SDG activities, SDG budget tracking tool, investment fair, an indicator baseline report and multi-stakeholder partnerships set Ghana on the right footing to achieve the goals by 2030.
According to Dr Addo-Yobo, the country’s subjection to a Voluntary National Review (VNR) process this year, was indicative of its determination and commitment to better the lives of the citizenry by following through the SDGs to the letter.
Special Advisor to Presidency on SDGs, Dr Eugene Owusu noted that President Akufo-Addo was focused on six key priorities to deliver on his mandate as co-chair of the eminent group of advocates on the SDGs.
He mentioned efforts being undertaken in the area of building macroeconomic stability, strong institutions, innovative financing, stronger partnerships among others to promote transparency and accountability on the SDG agenda.
Dr Owusu used the medium to thank the UN on the extension of President Akufo-Addo’s role as co-chair of the eminent group of advocates on the development goals.
On his part, Prof. Gyan-Baffour, the Minister of Planning, signalled the support of the HLMC to drive policy direction in the implementation of the SDGs for socio-economic growth.