Partnership arrangements for the implementation of SDGs – Ghana’s story
The Government of 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.
This was at a side-event jointly hosted by the Government of Ghana and the CSOs Platform on SDGs under the theme, “Building Partnerships for SDGs: Government, Civil Society, Private Sector and Traditional Authorities.”
The leader for the Government delegation to the forum, Prof George Gyan-Baffour who is also Minister for Planning 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.
According to him, 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.
He indicated that since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda in 2015, the government of Ghana has 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.
Ambassador 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 have been champions of development within their communities to complement the efforts of the government.
According to him, several interventions from traditional leaders contributes 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 are “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 reiterated.
The Private Sector, represented by Mr Alhassan Andani, CEO of Stanbic Bank Ghana, and Mr Gayheart Mensah, Director for External Affairs, Vodafone, emphasised the critical role the sector has to play in accelerating sustainable development. According to Mr Andani, capital thrives where there is peace and development - SDG 16. Thus, the CEOs Advisory Group on SDGs unflinching support for 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. Gayheart Mensah on his part admonished that businesses should be accessed not by the profits they make but how socially and environmentally sustainable their operations are within the economy. He assured Vodafone will continue to partner government in the innovative use of mobile data to address development issues.
Civil Society Organisations, represented by the Co-chair of the CSOs Platform on SDGs and the Country Director for SEND Ghana, Mr George Osei-Akoto Bimpeh, noted that there is 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 have a responsibility to complement government efforts on national development while holding themselves and the government to account on development issues.
He commended the Government of Ghana 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, adding that “we can’t achieve the SDGs without such partnerships.”
Mr. Inge Herman Rydland, from 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. Ms. 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 will focus on SDGs 4, 8, 10, 13, 16 and 17.