General News of Friday, 8 September 2017
Ghana should strive to eliminate revenue leakages and misallocation of public funds so that she can succeed in increasing domestic financing for the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.
Noting that the realisation of the flagship programmes and policies of the SDGs depended on how well they were financed, he said it was crucial that the issues of wanton corruption were addressed.
“Crucially, if we are to succeed in increasing domestic financing of the SDGs, we must address the unacceptable leakage of resources in the form of wanton corruption,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo said this when he inaugurated a 15-member Inter-Ministerial Committee to manage the implementation of the United Nation’s SDGs.
The Committee is chaired by Professor George Gyan Baffour, the Minister of Planning.
The members are Mr Alan Kojo Kyeremanten, the Minister of Trade and Industry; Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration; Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance; Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture; Madam Gloria Akuffo, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation; and Dr Akoto Osei, Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation.
The others are the ministers of Education; Health; Sanitation and Water Resources; Local Government and Rural Development; Gender, Children and Social Protection; Employment and Labour Relations; and Fisheries.
The event also commemorated the President’s appointment as co-Chair of the Advocacy Group of Eminent Persons by the UN Secretary General, Mr Antonio Guterres.
The President said achieving the SDGs demanded creativity, innovation and smart approaches to accelerate its implementation, as well as looking beyond the benevolence and generosity of others to finance implementation of the SDGs agenda.
“Ghana and, indeed, Africa, has the means to finance the implementation of the SDGs. We cannot achieve the SDGs with an aid-dependent mentality. This is the inspiration and the passion behind my vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid,” he added.
Stressing Ghana’s commitment to implementing the SDG’s to its fullest, President Akufo-Addo said the SDG’s completion in 2030 presented the current generation with a great opportunity to fight inequality on all fronts, wipe out extreme poverty, tackle the issues of climate change and reverse the degradation and unsustainable use of environmental resources.
He said Ghana had taken up the challenge of the SDGs, and had captured them in its co-ordinated programme for economic and social development policies, which, in accordance with the dictates of Article 36(5) of the Constitution of the Republic, would be presented to Parliament when it reconvenes in October for its next session.
“This Agenda is an investment in our future – the future of our youth and that of our children. We are obliged to leave them with an enduring legacy of a richer, more stable, more secure and more peaceful world,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo said: “The SDGs are intended to be the boldest and loudest articulation of a collective ambition for development the world has ever seen. They have helped focus the world’s attention on a common agenda of development. We have a unique opportunity to transform our world, to protect this planet, and bring prosperity to all by diligently implementing the SDGs.”
He urged the Inter-Ministerial committee to discharge its duties efficiently, and ensure that Ghana became a shining example for the implementation of the SDGs.
Under the SDG’s 17 goals, countries are expected to take appropriate steps to end poverty in all forms, end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, ensure healthy lives and promote the well-being for all at all ages, ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, and achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
They must also ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, and promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
The SDGs further entreats member countries to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation, reduce inequalities within and among countries, make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, and ensure stainable consumption and production patterns.
In addition, member states are expected to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact, conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development, and protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and biodiversity loss.
They are also expected to work towards promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels and strengthen the means of implementation as well as revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development.