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Friday, July 1, 2022

Ghana Struggles To Meet MDGs

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Ghana is still struggling to meet a number of criteria meant for the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

Though the nation has made some remarkable efforts towards the attainment of these goals, it is still lagging behind to attain goals three, four, five and seven.

Goal three is on gender equality while Goal 4 and 5 are on child and maternal mortality, and Goal seven is targeted at environmental sustainability.

According to a report by Ghana MDGs Secretariat, with just five years to reach the 2015 deadline, the country was lagging behind on gender equality, child and maternal mortality and environmental sustainability, thus if conscious efforts were not made, achieving these goals holistically would not be possible.

However, it would be among the first African countries to achieve the goals on education, poverty reduction, malaria and HIV/AIDS though it can miss out if current efforts are not sustained and doubled.

On gender equality, the report stated that women in decision making positions were inadequately represented.

In the legislative arm of governance for instance, women’s participation presently stands at about 8.2 percent while that of the regional and districts levels are worse.

In terms of political appointment, out of the 23 members of the Council of State, only three are women and therefore the gap between men and women in governance is a clear indication of how Ghana is missing out on this goal.

In addressing this problem, the report pointed out that government must lead the process in instituting a quota system to ensure that women are adequately represented in decision-making process.

Rwanda, India and Uganda are examples of how electoral quotas can fast-track gender balance in politics.

Sanitation also continues to remain a major challenge with regard to environmental sustainability and therefore Ghana was off-track in attaining this goal.

The 2010 World Health Organization/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme report which was released in March has estimated that only 13 out of 100 Ghanaians have access to improved sanitation.

It therefore called for pragmatic measures to address sanitation.

Achieving the MDGs is a necessity and addressing it intensively calls for collaboration and engagement with Civil society groups, Faith Based Organizations (FBOs), Traditional authorities, the media, Parliament, government, citizens and International Organizations who are the proposed active actors in the attainment of the MDGs.

In September, world leaders would converge at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to review the status of the MDGs.

The MDGs include 8-bound goals, which were adopted in the year 2000 by 189 heads of state as a means of improving livelihoods, especially the poor and marginalized.

Already, countries are preparing their national status reports for review at the summit.

Ghana is currently putting together its final report on the MDGs, which would be presented by the President at the summit.

It has made some remarkable efforts towards the attainment of some the goals.

The formulation and implementation of the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy documents (GPRS I, II) provided a blue print for interventions required for the achievements of the goals.

The GPRS also provided the nation with a focus on the major thematic areas.

By Charles Nixon Yeboah

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