The Sixth National Policy Summit, scheduled for May 26 and 27, will be focusing on discussions around the Fisheries and Sanitation sectors of the economy, Professor George Gyan-Baffour, the Minister of Planning, has announced.
“Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals with Emphasis on Fisheries and Sanitation,” is the theme for the Summit to be held at the University of Cape Coast, under the patronage of Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, Omanhene of Ogua Traditional Area.
It would be organised by the Ministry of Information in collaboration with industry players.
Launching the Summit on Monday in Accra, Prof. Gyan-Baffour said the opening ceremony would be on Sunday afternoon while the main programme, comprising four parallel sessions in the morning and afternoon, kicks off on Monday at 0900 hours.
Topics to be discussed include: Promoting a Total National Sanitation Campaign; Protecting Fisheries and Aquaculture for Sustainable Food Supply and Job Creation; Preventing Sanitation Related Flooding; a shared Responsibility; and the Efficient Delivery of Premix Fuel, Support to Small Scale Fisher Folk.
Mrs Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, and Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, would be the lead speakers.
Prof Gyan-Baffour said Summit, like other flagship programmes, showed the Ministry of Information’s strategic objective in ensuring responsive governance and citizen participation in the development dialogue; and improving participation of civil society including the media, traditional authorities, religious bodies in national development.
He said the Summit, held quarterly, provided a platform for explaining government policies, plans and activities to the citizenry as well as to collect feedback for policy refinement.
It is a public-private initiative by the Information Ministry, designed to bring together policy makers, business leaders, industry players, academia and civil society organisations to brainstorm on topical issues of national importance.
Justifying the theme, Prof Gyan-Baffour said the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aims at ending poverty and hunger by 2030, also recognised the connection between people and the planet, and had set goals relating to “a life on land, life below oceans and other water bodies”.
“And as per the theme for the first National Policy Summit for 2019, the issues relating to Fisheries was consistent with SDG 14: life below water.”
“The goal recommends that we conserve and use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainably. It explains further that the oceans make human life possible and that more than three billion people depend on marine and coastal diversity for their livelihoods but today we are seeing nearly a third of the world fish stock overly exploited. That is not sustainable”.
“In the same vein the SDG-6 encourages availability and sustainable management of water and provide sanitation for all.”
He said the Summit was closely aligned with the Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies: An Agenda for Jobs Creating Prosperity and Equal Opportunity for All and also linked with Africa Union’s Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Goals 14 and 17.
“As you may be aware, the focus of the Agenda 2030, the Sustainable Development Goal is to “leave no one behind”. It is in the light of this, that Government, through the Ministry of Information is ensuring that information on major Government Policies is widely disseminated so that we the citizenry, both home and abroad, can own it, feel sensitised and feel included in the development process.”