Ghana has shared its experiences on how it has collaborated with other non-state actors to push the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the on-going High-level Political Forum (HLPF) at the UN in New York.
A statement issued by Madam Akosua D. Ntim Sekyere, Head of Public Relations, National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and copied to the Ghana News Agency said this was at a side-event jointly hosted by the Government and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Platform on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), under the theme, “Building Partnerships for SDGs: Government, Civil Society, Private Sector and Traditional Authorities.”
It said the leader of the Government delegation to the forum, Professor George Gyan-Baffour, who is also the Planning Minister and Member of Parliament for Wenchi, in a key note address, reiterated the critical role effective partnerships play in ensuring transformative and sustainable development.
He said: “At the core of partnerships for development is a win-win relationship where partners can pull their resources and competencies together to address economic, social and environmental aims more effectively.”
The Minister stated that for the world to achieve inclusive growth, sustainable development, peace and security, it requires the support of all stakeholders – government, private sector, civil society, traditional leaders, faith-based organisations, academia, development partners and youth groups, among others.
He said achieving both the global and continental commitment for sustainable development – Agenda 2030 and the AU Agenda 2063, requires an all hands-on-deck approach.
The SDG 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals recognises multi-stakeholder partnerships as important vehicles for mobilising and sharing knowledge, expertise, technologies and financial resources to support the achievement of sustainable development at all levels and across all sectors, he added.
Prof Gyan-Baffour indicated that since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda in 2015, the government of Ghana had created the necessary enabling environment for fostering partnerships among development actors.
He said Ghana’s implementation arrangement for the SDGs reflects the multi-stakeholder approach with state and non-state actors working together at all levels.
This has resulted in a number of innovative partnerships and actions by traditional leaders, religious bodies, the private sector, academia, civil society organisations and the youth to accelerate the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, he revealed.
Nana Effah Apenteng, Paramount Chief of Bompata Traditional Area and Secretary to Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who represented the traditional authorities, indicated that chiefs from time in immemorial had been champions of development within their communities to complement the efforts of government.
He said several interventions from traditional leaders contribute to the development of society at large, and to the attainment of global and continental commitments by countries.
He said educational funds set up by traditional leaders to provide scholarships to poor and needy students at different levels of education were “directly contributing to SDG 4, which emphasises the provision of quality education and indirectly to SDGs 1, 2, 3, 8 and 10.”
He added that the SDGs provided a framework to consolidate the gains from the initiatives by traditional leaders for the betterment of a larger population.
“We recognise that the future well-being of the communities we represent rests on the successful implementation of the SDGs. We have therefore committed fully to partner with the government and all stakeholders to ensure accelerated implementation of the goals,” he said.
The Private Sector, represented by Mr Alhassan Andani, Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic Bank Ghana, and Mr Gayheart Mensah, Director for External Affairs, Vodafone, emphasised the critical role the sector had to play in accelerating sustainable development.
Mr Andani said capital thrives where there was peace and development – SDG 16.
The CEOs Advisory Group on SDGs declared their unflinching support towards the attainment of sustainable development through the establishment of SDGs Delivery Fund and the Green Fund to finance implementation and support the uptake of renewable energy respectively.
Mr Mensah on his part said businesses should be accessed not by the profits they make but how socially and environmentally sustainable their operations were within the economy.
He assured that Vodafone would continue to partner government in the innovative use of mobile data to address development issues.
Mr George Osei-Akoto, the Co-chair of the CSOs Platform on SDGs and the Country Director for SEND Ghana, noted that, there was now a shift from on antagonistic relationship between CSOs and government to one based on collaboration, which also allows for effective accountability.
He noted that CSOs had a responsibility to complement government efforts on national development, while holding themselves and government to account on development issues.
He commended the Government for the observer status given the Civil Society Platform for SDGs at the highest levels of government to play a key role in the development discourse.
“We can’t achieve the SDGs without such partnerships,” he added.
Mr Inge Herman Rydland of Norway and the special envoy for the 2030 Agenda, said the partnership between Ghana and his country builds on a common vision to realise sustainable development, adding that, the global agenda means, all are equal and have work to do.
Madam Jenna Slotin of Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data commended the Government of Ghana for its leadership role in forming data partnerships to ensure no one is left behind.
The High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development opened on Tuesday, 9 July 2019, at UN Headquarters in New York under the theme “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”. Discussions at the forum would focus on SDGs 4, 8, 10, 13, 16 and 17.