Accra, July 8, GNA - Professor Jeffry Sachs, a UN Special Envoy on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG's) on Friday said Ghana has the capacity to achieve the MDGs and it would be a tragedy if she failed to so.
He noted that Ghana stood out as one of the foremost countries with the real capacity to meet the goals since the country had been found to be on track to achieving that.
"If there is any country that can achieve the MDG's, that country is Ghana and if the goals cannot be met in Ghana, there is no where else they could be met.
Prof. Sachs was speaking at a meeting with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and other representatives of the other ministries.
Prof Sachs is in the country to meet government officials for an update on Ghana's efforts towards meeting the MDG's.
He explained that, he had travelled to several parts of Africa, "and it is very clear that Ghana has the ability and drive to meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015."
Prof Sachs welcomed the stopping of payment of fees in basic schools in Ghana, saying it was a step towards achieving the MDG's. He noted that "it was important to accelerate the move towards the MDG's, but we should not just move fast towards it, but achieve it."
Prof. Sachs charged African economies to fight for safe water, ensure environmental sanitation and end extreme hunger from the face of Africa. He expressed the hope that soon payment of school fees would cease in upper classes while investments would be boosted in critical areas such as health, water, sanitation, education, rural water, energy, transport, internet connectivity and port facilities. He asked rich countries to act on their words and ensure that the commitment made during donor conferences were delivered. On the Millennium Challenge Account, Prof Sachs urged the MCC to work at releasing the funds and make it flow to the countries that need them.
He however, expressed surprise that Ghana had still not being able to access the monies and urged the US and Ghana government to commit themselves towards the promise.
He called for the aggressive eradication of malaria, saying that though the current distribution of treated bed-nets was good, " we have to move ahead to eradicate the mosquitoes."
Prof Sachs also called for community mobilization and drive, noting that the problems in the health sector for instance, was achievable. Contributions from the sector ministries showed that efforts were being made to meet the MDG's, but extra funds from donors and national governments was needed.
The Ministry of Education said school enrolment had increased and that one of the major obstacles facing the Ministry of Education was deploying teachers throughout the country.
A representative of the Ministry of Works and Housing said it was running an annual deficit of 220 million dollars on water provision, noting that, " if we are able to access 220 million dollars a year for the next 10 years we can get over the problem of water shortages in the country."