Ghana is developing a rescue plan to address priority areas of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly poverty and inequality reduction.
Ghana’s proactive steps align with a global trend as more countries are developing rescue proposals worldwide.
On a global scale, the progress towards achieving the SDG targets has been less than satisfactory, with only 12% of these objectives currently on track.
This lag is attributed to a myriad of challenges, including the adverse impacts of climate change, ongoing conflicts, economic downturns, and the far-reaching consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To tackle this issue head-on, the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) organised a stakeholder meeting to deliberate on strategies for advancing the SDGs within the Ghanaian context.
To streamline the efforts, a task team was appointed to draft a comprehensive plan with a sharp focus on five priority SDG areas that have the potential to expedite progress.
The Director-General of NDPC, Dr Kodjo Mensah-Abrampa, emphasised the significance of shifting attention to the real implementation phase of the SDGs.
Dr Abrampa stated that Ghana’s overarching aim was to garner the support of policymakers, encouraging them to wholeheartedly commit to the realisation of the five priority SDG targets.
“These mutually reinforcing objectives, once attained, have the potential to catalyze broader sustainable development throughout the nation,” he added.
Dr Abrampa acknowledged the slow pace of progress in the past, despite a clear understanding of where the focus should lie, stressing that “the time has now come to address the “how” to effectively execute the SDG rescue plan.”
The five priority areas include target 16.6, which focuses on developing effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels, target 8.5, which focuses on achieving full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including persons with disabilities and equal pay for work of equal value by 2030 and target 7.3, which focuses on doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030.
Others include target 6.2, which focuses on achieving access to adequate equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and ending open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations as well as target 4.1, which focuses on ensuring that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes by 2030.
The United Nations is poised to compile these initiatives to create a comprehensive global SDG recovery strategy that can unite nations in their commitment to achieving these critical sustainable development goals.
Joyce Adwoa Animia Ocran, ISD