Nation needs $40b annually to secure SDGs – Chief of Staff

Akosua Frema Opare

Madam Frema Osei-Opare, Chief of Staff at the Office of the President has placed the annual cost of meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at $40 billion.

She said the funds could be realised when considered by the private sector as a business opportunity, and through innovative resource mobilization including E-levy.

Madam Osei-Opare was addressing an open forum as part the Ho edition of the 2022 SDG Day Out event.

“Based on the work spearheaded by the SDGs Advisory Unit and the World Economic Forum, we know that we need on average $45 billion a year until the year 2030 to achieve all the SDGs.

“We can only achieve this monumental objective when the annual $45 billion is seen as a business opportunity by the private sector, and if we use innovative means to mobilize resources, as we are seeking to do with the E-levy,” she stated.

The Chief of Staff said the Government of President Akufo Addo’s resolve to clock the SDGs continued to hold and maintained a “whole-of-government” and “whole-of-society” approach that facilitated the contribution of all.

“Government’s commitment to the SDGs is without question. The SDGs have been integrated into subnational and national planning and budgeting process and continue to shape government policies and programs. Many of the Government’s flagship initiatives are indeed aligned to one or more of the SDG targets,” she noted.

Madam Osei-Opare urged that despite the drawbacks of the covid19 pandemic in the attainment of the SDGs, the government persisted towards its success, and therefore all must continue to provide the needed push.

“Nationally, our progress on the SDGs has been constrained by the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. But that should not deflate our efforts. We should be stronger and bolder in our resolve to achieve the SDGs. And this is exactly what the government is committed to doing, with just over eight years to the 2030 end-date for the SDGs.

“Even in the very constrained financial environment in which we find ourselves, we must be deliberate in ensuring greater and smarter investments in Climate Action, in the SDGs and Ocean action. And in this, the private sector and innovative financing are going to be key.

“We must with great gusto and dogged determination, work together to pull ourselves out of the perfect storm created by the Covid 19 pandemic, climate change and an unhealthy ocean that has brought our world to a triple tipping point,” she said.

The Chief of Staff proposed a “five-point agenda”, which she said would fit for “urgent action” that help ensure the planet’s sustainability and meet the SDGs.

Among the proposals was the call to “deepen strategic partnerships and build a progressive coalition” on the SDGs, with the private sector, traditional and community leaders playing key roles.

Madam Osei-Opare also called to improve economic outlook and macroeconomic stability, saying, “we must make our governance regime work for sustainable human development”.

The Chief of Staff also proposed that the energies and potentials women and youth were harnessed and added that it was an area she remained passionate about.

“The backbone of this country is women’s enterprise, whether in the workplace, the marketplace, or our homes. The key accelerator to success on all the SDGs is the extent to which we connect to the enterprise of women and the positive, creative, and abundant energies of our youth.

“This is why on top of the numerous programmes of support for women and the youth, the Government is poised to implement the novel YouthStart programme, which will be a game changer in dealing with unemployment and the empowerment of women”.

Madam Osei-Opare further stressed on the need to “fully” take advantage of innovation to accelerate and deepen climate action, boost SDGs implementation, and regenerate our oceans, noting that it should be considered as a “matter of necessity and smart action”.

The SDG Day out event, which is on the theme “Our World at a Triple Tripping Point: the Urgency of SDG Action”, kicked off with a health walk in Ho, which drew public attention to the development goals.

A forum of traditional leaders was held on Tuesday morning at the Volta Region House of Chiefs, and a public forum followed, same day at the Ho Technical University.

Municipal and District Chief Executives in the Region were also engaged, and an innovation challenge and a forum with the business community were cleared as part of the three-day event.

The event, an initiative of the SDGs Advisory Unit at the Office of the President, is being undertaken in collaboration with the Volta Regional Coordinating Council, the Association of Ghana Industries, the Bank of Africa, and partners including tech labs and media outlets.

Source: GNA

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