On 30 November in Accra, a Multi-Stakeholder Conference on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) explored “Opportunities in Sustainable Development through Strategic Partnerships”. It was organised upon the initiative of the CSOs Platform on the SDGs and Deloitte, under the auspices of the Office of the President, and in collaboration with the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), and the UN in Ghana. A message by the President of Ghana, H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was delivered by his Special Advisor on the SDGs, Dr. Eugene Owusu.
In his message, H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo said the achievement of the SDGs in Ghana needs a strategic multi-stakeholder partnership of creativity and innovation, that involves particularly the youth, and that unleashes the potential of women, as well as empowered citizens that hold Government accountable, and a committed, vibrant private sector. He stressed that for such partnerships to be effective there was a need to remove barriers and build trust.
The conference set the first steps in the establishment of a strategic multi-stakeholder partnership involving the public and private sector, civil society, and the media. It provided an opportunity to discuss the roles, possible contributions and opportunities for the various stakeholders in the implementation process of the SDGs, with a special focus on the private sector.
“Private sector representation is needed in the national and local multi-stakeholder partnership for the SDGs – for sharing your innovative business solutions, for identifying any barriers that prevent business from contributing to the global goals in Ghana, for ensuring that progress towards one Goal is not undermined by delays in others,” said UN Resident Coordinator Christine Evans-Klock.
The private sector had a chance to exchange with partners on how they view their contribution to achieving the ambitions of the SDGs for a prosperous Ghana, for inclusive growth that leaves no one behind, and for sustainable growth that protects business interests into the future.
Mr Nana Osei-Bonsu, CEO of the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF), reminded that there needs to be a business case for the SDGs, as well as an enabling policy framework that allows the private sector to strive. He stressed especially the need to enable young people to contribute effectively.
The panels discussed various ways in which the private sector can contribute to SDG attainment – through sustainable business practices, through responding to Government policies that domesticate the SDGs and achieve them through the Government’s flagship programmes, through expanding Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy. Representatives of the private sector shared good practices already carried out by businesses in Ghana, as well as the barriers they perceive to accelerate sustainable economic and job growth in Ghana that need to be overcome as part of achieving the Agenda 2030. Another key topic was innovative domestic resource mobilisation for the SDGs, a discussion which reflected the President’s vision of a “Ghana beyond aid”.
The conference was also an occasion to launch a booklet of SDG advocacy messages, a product of a collaboration between the CSOs Platform on the SDGs and the UN in Ghana.
UN in Ghana