Professor George Baffour-Gyan, Minister for Planning and the government body responsible for the coordination of the implementation of the SDGs has noted that financing the 2030 agenda remains a challenge.
He stated that the 2019 Voluntary National Review process enabled the assessment of progress towards the achievement of the SDGs in Ghana and revealed that while the results were encouraging, the country is far from where it needs to be to make good progress.
The Planning Minister said the report also acknowledged that sustainable financing is critical to the realization of the SDGs, adding that beyond the national budget, the financing gap requir3es the creation of a business case that connects the various sectors including the private sector, innovation and research.
Professor Baffour-Gyan observed that the current vision of government of development ‘Beyond Aid’ is in line with the paradigm shift of the SDGs.
He stated that it is against this backdrop that government, jointly with the United Nations Country Team, responded to the call on SDG financing to broadly pursue strategies to consolidate SDG financing initiatives, as well as, strengthen gender-responsive SDG budgeting and accountability for results in Ghana.
Specifically, the joint programme seeks to enhance and coordinate SDG financing ecosystem through the Integrated National financing framework (INFF) with the principle of Leaving No One Behind (LNOB); further deepen gender-and child responsive SDG budgeting, tracking and accountability; nurture innovative financing strategies for health and innovative financing g strategies for infrastructure, all of which are aligned to government priorities.
The implementation of the joint programme was to have commenced prior to the onset of the pandemic but COVID-19 unleashed its debilitating impact on the shared goals in achieving the SDGs.
The Planning Minister expressed hope that the joint programme will provide concrete, practical and transformational strategies for SDG financing.
UN Resident Coordinator, Charles Abani said the event paves the way for the UN system to support government implement transformative joint programme, shift the SDG implementation narrative from funding to financing, deepen partnerships with the opportunity to reengineer critical strands of networks and strengthen the financing architecture.
He said Africa needs an estimated USD114 billion to address the COVID-induced crises this year alone, and with an estimated financing gap of USD44 billion. Abani cited a recent survey by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) where an estimated 35.7% of business establishments in the country had to close during the partial lockdown.
He added that achieving the SDGs requires between US$5 to US$7 trillion with an investment gap of US$2.5 –US$3 trillion annually in private and public financing and an additional US$13.5 trillion to implement the COP21 Paris climate account.
The SDG financing calls were launched by the UN to enable developing countries accelerate the achievement of the SDGs at scale through projects that are catalytic in themselves to attract private and public capital.