Formalised partnerships with private sector necessary for implementation of SDGs – Minister

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UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
SDGUN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, says the country can successfully implement the Country Development Goals through formalized partnerships with the private sector.

He said with the passage of the Public-Private Partnership (PPA) law, a significant milestone was achieved in efforts to adopt sustainable financing solutions for sustainable development linking global and local partners.

The Minister was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Virtual Accra Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Investment Fair being organized by the Ministry of Finance, in partnership with the Ghana Investment Promotions Centre (GIPC) and Social Enterprise Ghana.

The three-day event is on the theme: “The Decade of Action: Accelerating Recovery and Revitalization.”

The Fair will provide a platform for discussions on Recovery and Revitalisation Programmes as well as offer an avenue for private sector collaboration with the government in implementing the SDGs within the decade of action.

It will also bring together High-Level government Officials, Community Facilitators, Investors, Civil Society, Entrepreneurs to help develop a sustainable network for post-COVID-19 strategies that will support the government’s vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid.

Mr Ofori-Atta said the PPA Act was an instrument that would facilitate access to more private sector financing for development to ensure efficiencies that allow the country to optimize the resource of the nation.

He said apart from enacting the PPP law to create an enabling environment for the private sector, the government has been working ardently on improving the score for ease of doing business by moving government services online through programmes.

The Minister said the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and the people’s wellbeing has dramatically influenced the way businesses were done, how people interact with one another and on a global scale how SDGs were financed with only about nine years to go.

He said now about two years later, some of these successes had been derailed by the debilitating effects of COVID-19 and climate change enable the country to have increased hunger, poverty and an increased gender and income inequity.

“Pandemics like COVID-19 expose the fundamental defects in health care and economic policies, systems, and practices at community, national and global levels.

So far, Ghana has recorded 111,000 cases and 930 deaths. Our recovery rate stands at about 93 per cent, which is in line with the average recovery rate in Western Africa, approximately 92 per cent.

The government was able to administer close to 1.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and also began the single largest health infrastructure investment since independence with the construction of 111 district and regional hospitals under Agenda 111 as part of an effort to build back better post-COVID-19.

“Unfortunately, where our focus should have been on accelerated actions to realise the SDGs, we find ourselves focusing on a resilient recovery – restoring growth, rebuilding a better and more robust economy and society, one capable of withstanding future events like the coronavirus pandemic.

We have had to backtrack in order to move forward,” he added.

He said in 2019, before the pandemic, the financing gap to achieve the SDGs in developing countries was estimated to be US$ 2.5 – 3 trillion per year, according to UNCTAD.

The Minister said the government had determined through its Country Financing Framework that USD 522.3 billion was required to fully meet the country’s SDG targets by 2030, (averaging $52.2 billion per year).

This translates into an average per capita cost of $1,505 per year, an increase to $45.7 billion in 2030.

Mr Yofi Grant, Chief Executive Officer of GIPC, said building back better post-COVID-19 could not happen in isolation and would require all hands on deck.

He said the Agenda 2030 for SDGs continued to state the importance of the private sector to include the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise, cooperatives and multinationals in the achievement of the SDGs.

He said the World Economic Forum, in partnership with the government, had developed the Country Financing Roadmap (CFR) for the SDGs initiative in Africa.

He said sources for the financing of the SDGs included government 74 per cent, development partners 9 per cent, internally generated funds 4 per cent, other firms 13 per cent and statutory means 2 per cent.

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