Launch of the National Advisory Board (NAB) for Impact Investment in Ghana

Statement delivered by the Resident Coordinator ad interim at the launch of the National Advisory Board (NAB) for Impact Investment in Ghana

It is an honour and a pleasure for me to be here this evening to Launch the National Advisory Board (NAB) for Impact Investment in Ghana and discuss innovative SDG financing in the country. I would like to commend the Organizers for a most timely event, as Ghana, prepares to report on how the country has made progress in achieving the SDGs in New York next month.

I have to say that I am most impressed by the work that has been achieved since December last year and I very much look forward to being a witness of Ghana becoming the second African Country after South Africa, to join the Global Steering Group on Impact Investment.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The theme for tonight, leveraging Private Capital to Close the SDG Funding Gap for a prosperous Ghana is quite an exciting agenda, especially when one knows that the financing needs of the 2030 Agenda are huge. Globally, investments of between 5 to 7 trillion US$ are needed each year to implement the Goals. However, the financing gap is overwhelming with the UN estimating that the shortfall in financing amounts to 2.5 trillion USD per year in developing countries alone.

I believe if we are here tonight, it is because we all believe in our shared responsibilities and role in closing this financing gap.

So, what are the priorities?

Well, there is no single solution for financing the Sustainable Development Goals but some essential actions will need to be taken in areas such as domestic resources mobilization and tax reform but there is also incredible potential in developing innovative financing and in mobilizing private investment. Without the private sector and the business community the SDGs will never be achieved, and the UN is acutely aware of that.

Last April, in New York, as part of the UN SDG Investment Fair, the UN Secretary General, launched the Global Investors for Sustainable Development, a new alliance of chief executives, which will include between 25 and 30 CEOs who will focus on incentivizing larger amounts of long-term investment for sustainable development. The inaugural meeting of the GISD will be held alongside the Climate Action Summit on 23 September this year.

Last April, the SG told the private sector leaders and I quote that “investing in sustainable development is “not a matter of goodwill” but the root of long-term global prosperity”. 

And indeed, the future of our societies requires huge investments in basic infrastructure, food security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, health, and education. While public financing remains critical, private sources of investment will be essential to meet the scale of investment required.

Making progress will also require a significant shift in our mindsets. We need to be ambitious and look beyond filling the SDG investment gap to seeing the SDGs as an investment opportunity. Making that mental shift will totally change the way we do business and drive that critical change in the business models that we operate with. Why simply do business when you can do business that generates social and environmental impact as well as financial returns?

Ladies and Gentlemen allow me also to say that the UN System in Ghana, especially through UNDP has been one of the early actors in developing the impact investment ecosystem by engaging the private sector. UNDP and partners established the Philanthropy and Impact Investing Network Ghana (PIING), a network of corporate foundations, with UNDP as a key facilitator.

So much has happened since, and I really am proud of Ghana for leading the way when it comes to Impact Investment in sub-Saharan Africa. With the strong leadership of the government through the Ministry of Finance, the remarkable work that has been done on SDG budgeting, the energy and engagement of the private sector, I believe we have a recipe for success in Ghana.

Ladies and gentlemen, there is a lot at stake here. By investing in the Sustainable Development Goals, we invest in the future, in the future of Ghana, in the future of the world, a world in which there will be peace, stability and prosperity – for those following the news these days, we know that peace and stability cannot and shouldn’t be taken for granted. Most importantly, we are investing in a future where no one is left behind. In these efforts you can count of the continued support of the UN family in Ghana.     I thank you very much.

Speech by
Author
Ms. Sylvia Lopez Ekra
Chief of Mission, IOM
IOM
IOM Chief of Mission
UN entities involved in this initiative
UNDP
United Nations Development Programme