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23.12.2019 General News

UN Urges Ghana To Invest In Social Sector To Achieve SDGs

By News Desk
UN Urges Ghana To Invest In Social Sector To Achieve SDGs
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The United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator for Ghana, Ms Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, has called on Ghana to prioritise investment in the social sector to accelerate the country's chances of meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target by 2030.

She said such investments must hinge on an integrated finance strategy that mobilised resources from the public and private sources to implement programmes that would help to achieve the targets.

Ms Lopez-Ekra said although middle-income countries, including Ghana, had witnessed some level of economic growth, they would not be able to achieve the SDG targets if they failed to invest in job creation and human capital.

"One of the challenges middle-income countries have is that there might be economic growth but inequalities and poverty still remain a major problem and it shows that economic growth alone cannot lift people out of poverty in a sustainable way," she stressed.

She stated that at the opening session of a two-day joint consultation workshop on the UN Sustainable Development Partnership (UNSDP) in Accra last Wednesday (Dec 18).

Validation workshop
The workshop was organised by the UN office in Ghana in collaboration with the ministries of Finance and Planning to validate a joint work plan (JWP) for the implementation of the UNSDP.

It brought together 80 MDAs, heads of UN agencies in Ghana and other stakeholders.

Validation workshop
The workshop was organised by the UN office in Ghana in collaboration with the ministries of Finance and Planning to validate a joint work plan (JWP) for the implementation of the UNSDP.

It brought together 80 MDAs, heads of UN agencies in Ghana and other stakeholders.

The JWP was subsequently developed to help in the implementation of the UNSDP in line with the UN reforms on the SDGs.

The UNSDP is aligned to the Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies (CPSDP), 2017-2024 and the SDGs.

Collaboration
Ms Lopez-Ekra stressed that collaboration among the MDAs, as well as the private sector, was key to ensuring that all gaps were addressed for the attainment of the SDGs.

"It is all about hard work, having a plan and a vision and putting money where it ought to be," she said.

Ms Lopez-Ekra also said there was the need for an integrated financing strategy for SDG programmes in developing countries.

"In developing countries, we have a funding gap of $2.5 trillion per year to finance SDGs and so Ghana and other middle-income countries need to mobilise resources locally by reforming tax regimes and also work with the private sector," she said.

Government commitment
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta stressed that the achievement of the SDGS required strategic mobilisation of resources and strong partnerships across all sectors.

"For us as a government, it behoves us to be prudent in the management of the resources we receive and to block all leakages which allow for the illegal outflow of resources," he said.

He said the government would focus more on mobilising domestic and public resources, as well as strengthen regulatory framework that would better align domestic and international private business and finance with public goods.

Synergies
For his part, Prof. Gyan-Baffour said the government was pursuing initiatives that would create synergies in the implementation of programmes across the SDGs, especially with respect to mobilisation and better targeting of finances.

He urged MDAs and other stakeholders to break away from their silos and begin to work in an integrated manner to achieve the SDGs.

"In the past, individual UN agencies have developed and implemented workplans singularly with implementing partners, including MDAs that may be directly aligned to their organisational goals. We are excited that as part of the UN reforms, this joint work plan will enable us to reap shared goals through our shared responsibility," he said.

---graphic.com.gh

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