By Cecil MENSAH
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has commissioned a 15-member Inter-Ministerial Committee for the implementation of and awareness creation on the United Nation’s (UN’s) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the country.
The SDGs Committee is chaired by the Minister for Planning, Prof. Gyan Baffuor and has members including ministers for Trade and Industry; Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration; Finance; Food and Agriculture; Attorney General; and Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation. Others are the ministers for Monitoring and Evaluation; Education; Health; Sanitation and Water Resources; Local Government and Rural Development; Gender, Children and Social Protection; Employment and Labour Relations; and Fisheries and Aquaculture.
Last Thursday’s event to commission the committee was used to commemorate the President’s appointment as the co-Chair of the Advocacy Group of Eminent Persons by UN Secretary- General, António Guterres.
President Akufo-Addo, in a speech, charged the committee to discharge its duties efficiently, and ensure that Ghana becomes a shining example for the implementation of the SDGs.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the completion of the SDGs in 2030, presents this generation with the great opportunity to fight inequality on all fronts, wipe out extreme poverty, tackle the issues of climate change and reverse the degradation and unsustainable use of our environmental resources.
“This Agenda is an investment in our future – the future of our youth and that of our children. We are obliged to leave them with an enduring legacy of a richer, more stable, more secure and more peaceful world,” he added.
The President revealed that Ghana has taken up the challenge of the SDGs, and has captured them in its co-ordinated programme for economic and social development policies, which, in accordance with the dictates of Article 36(5) of the Constitution of the Republic, will be presented to Parliament in its next session, starting in October.
Reiterating government’s commitment to “leaving no one behind”, the President stressed that “the programmes and policies that have been outlined in our co-ordinated programme are all hinged towards the realisation of the SDGs, both at the national and local levels.”
Whilst acknowledging that the realization of the SDGs will only be as good as how well they are financed, and how robustly results are tracked and measured, President Akufo-Addo noted that achieving the SDGs will require all the resources the country can muster.
“We must, therefore, be efficient and effective not only in mobilising resources, but also in eliminating pervasive revenue leakages, and addressing misallocation and misuse of public funds. Crucially, if we are to succeed in enhancing domestic financing of the SDGs, we must address the unacceptable leakage of resources in the form of wanton corruption,” he stressed.
In urging the need to look beyond the benevolence of others to finance implementation of the SDGs agenda, President Akufo-Addo was confident that Ghana, and, indeed, Africa, has the means to finance the implementation of the SDGs.
“We cannot achieve the SDGs with an aid-dependent mentality. This is the inspiration and the passion behind my vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid,” he added.
The Minister for Planning, Prof. George Gyan-Baffour, inaugurated the Technical Committee for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the Agenda 2063 for Ghana’s development.
The technical committee is one of the institutional set-ups to facilitate the localisation and implementation of the SDGs and Agenda 2063 of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The Minister, in inaugurating the team, said the first step in the localisation process was the SDGs Implementation Coordination Committee (SDGs-ICC) set up in 2016 by the previous National Democratic Congress government.
According to him, Ghana’s significant achievements regarding the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and active involvement in the preparation and adoption of the SDGs had earned the country significant recognition in the comity of nations.