On Tuesday, October 6th 2020, President Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo launched 'For Better Business Together (4BBT)' to inspire business-worthy behaviour, discuss and critically analyse specific local issues, and serve as a convergence point for the youth of the world.
The move, according to business and industry stakeholders will go a long way to further boost business interest in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It also comes with innovative ideas to connect entrepreneurs who have the solutions, and investors with SDG perspectives.
The programme which was organised by Ghana's Ministry of Business Development (MoBD) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), and the Business for Peace Foundation(BfP) of Norway was on the theme "Post COVID-19 - Rebuilding Global Businesses Together".
Speaking at the event, the president noted that the "For Better Business Together(4BBT) programme is a new global partnership to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and strengthen businesses in the world following the novel COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to have a devastating effect on the economies of the world, especially on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
He said the programme is aimed at addressing some of the local sustainability challenges and mobilize local entrepreneurs and businesses to find a longterm solution.
Ghana with about 65% of its 30 million population below 30 years, was chosen for the global launch of the 4BBT programme.
On his part, the Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg said Ghana's high Democratic credentials, political stability, visionary leadership and a vibrant entrepreneurial and start-up ecosystem made her the obvious choice for the global launch of the 4BBT programme.
"The president's excellent management of the COVID-19 pandemic has gained global recognition. Hence the outcome of the 4BBT programme is expected to be the facilitation of SDGs aligned investments with potential partnerships in local start-ups / scale-ups and established businesses, to address relevant development challenges," he said.
Also speaking on Post-COVID-19 era and useful lessons, Mr Charles Abani, UN Resident Coordinator - Ghana, said, the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic inflicting, unprecedented health, economic and social crisis on the globe, threatening lives and livelihoods, making the achievement of the SDGs more challenging and erasing the modest progress made in recent years.
According to Mr Charles Abani, Africa needs an estimated US$114 billion to address the COVID-19 induced crises this year alone and with an estimated financing gap of US$44 billion.
He noted that it has a system-wide response approach with a focus on building a more inclusive and sustainable world.
"Business leaders need to strike out in new directions to embrace more sustainable and inclusive economic models. We need more partnerships and collaboration, especially with the private sector and IFIs and DFIs, bringing the whole-of-society approach to respond to the SDGs through concrete partnerships as well as innovative financing mechanism and instruments," he emphasised.
He continued... "Strengthening our partnerships ‘For Better Business Together’ we should be committed to building sustainable and inclusive efforts that is not devoid of the 5Ps underpinning our sustainable development goals – focusing on People to end poverty and hunger in all its forms; protecting our Planet’s natural resources and climate for future generations; fostering Peaceful, just and inclusive societies; ensuring Prosperity and fulfilling lives in harmony with nature; and most importantly, implementing the 2030 agenda through a solid global Partnership".
In a remark, Silke Hollander, the Deputy UNDP Resident Representative - Ghana, aims at enabling businesses to build back better from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as build forward better to allow for transformational change demands a key component of SDG Investor Maps, which are meant to catalyse investments towards the achievement of the SDGs.
She said these Investor Maps are prepared across all 16 regions in Ghana and will connect investment opportunities with businesses.
She concluded that a transformative initiative of the COVID-19 Private Sector Facility, which was launched a few weeks ago during this year’s UN General Assembly; in partnership between UNDP, UN Global Compact and the International Chamber of Commerce, Ghana is one of 4 countries, and the only one in Africa selected to benefit from the facility’s services.