19.12.2020 Research Findings

Ghana launches 2020 Global Human Development Report "The Next Frontier: human development and the Anthropocene"

By Beyonce Diamond Kpogli
Ghana launches 2020 Global Human Development Report
LISTEN DEC 19, 2020

On 16th December 2020, Ghana joined the rest of the world in launching a landmark report that shapes the new frontier in global human development.

It recognized for the first time taking into account the planetary pressures brought about by carbon oxide emissions and material footprint.

This latest UNDP Human Development Report, titled “The Next Frontier: Human Development and the Anthropocene” coincides with a new era as Ghana and countries all over the world seek to rebuild and recover from the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In a speech delivered by Angela Lusigi, UNDP Resident Representative in Ghana at the launch of 2020 Global Human Development Report in Accra, Madam Angela hinted that the government of Ghana is working hard to mitigate the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the lives and livelihoods of Ghanaians.

"The Ghana CARES programme for instance aims to ensure that Ghana quickly emerges from the pandemic with a stronger and more resilient economy. By providing immediate relief and support as well as revitalizing local businesses and transforming the economy of the country, the Ghana CARES Programme aims to accelerate the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda towards the achievement of the SDGs", she noted.

According to her, the bold and comprehensive actions proposed in this year’s Human Development Report can help to overcome the anticipated decline in Human Development as a result of COVID-19.

"For the first time in 30 years, the human development index is set to decline from reversals in health, education outcomes, disrupted livelihoods and income".

Adding that, Ghana must seize emerging opportunities to re-create in line with her bold vision of a transformed society and a prosperous economy.

Three aspects covered in this report will set the stage for navigating complex, interconnected social and ecological systems. They provide a roadmap to expand human development and robust recovery from COVID-19 while maintaining a balance with nature to keep within planetary boundaries.

First, the report calls for a reorientation of social norms and values to empower people to live and work to expand human freedoms while easing pressure on the planet. Many parts of the country are already badly affected by the rising destabilisation of the systems we all depend on for survival including biodiversity, wildlife, oceans and land.

This report showcases an opportunity to create new social norms that allow Ghana’s young and fast-growing population in rural and urban areas, to work with nature, not against it.

Secondly, the report calls for the implementation of bold incentives and regulatory frameworks that will help to catalyse investments in both blue and green economies.

These bold incentives are in line with and could support the Ghana CARES Programme in mobilizing private sector investments to contribute to the estimated GH₵100 billion (or US$18 billion) to be invested in 3 years. Seventy per cent (70%) of this investment is expected to come from the private sector. Catalysing private sector investments therefore could leverage access to green and climate financing and help to tap into the blue economy.

Ghana is well-positioned to lead ineffective protection, sustainable consumption and equitable prosperity as one of the 14 countries that developed the recent report of the high-level panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy.

Emerging tools such as UNDP supported SDG Investor Maps will provide intelligence on Investment Opportunities linked to national development priorities to connect businesses to investment opportunities.

Finally, as the first generation to jumpstart this transition to a world shaped by humans, the report speaks to our innovators to help decide what we will all be remembered for. We need more and widespread innovative nature-based solutions that accelerate human development and the achievement of the SDGs, by expanding people’s choices and opportunities with greater equity and less planetary pressure.

Over the coming months, UNDP will work with partners to navigate the complexities of these questions and explore connections and opportunities in the Anthropocene for Ghana.

Prof. Samuel Kobina Annim, the Government Statistician said, Over the 30 years since the start of measuring and estimating the Human Development Index additional improvements have taken place taking into account inequalities in all the three dimensions, gender-based inequalities, multidimensional poverty index, and in this report the planetary pressures.

He underscores the Government’s commitment to continue investing in statistics and the partners in continuing to invest and use the statistics we can produce.

He further emphasized that the 2021 census will be a game-changer in Ghana’s ability to measure and track human progress.

"This year, with our partners GIZ, Oxford University and UNDP, we estimated for the first time the multidimensional poverty index for Ghana. Indeed Ghana has made significant progress. However, we want to be able to inform district, municipal and metropolitan assemblies in their investments on what is critical to the people".

"With this coming census, we shall be able to know who are multidimensionally poor, in which dimensions, the intensity and inform us of the policy choices".

"I want to call to Ghanaians and our partners to continue to support this and many efforts to enable us shade light on human development and inform investment choices. This is in the true spirit of the government a comprehensive response to COVID 19 – the Ghana CARES Programme –a 3-year plan to revitalize local businesses and transform the economy to accelerate progress towards Ghana Beyond Aid", Prof Samuel Kobina Annim said.

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