Statement at the launch of the 2022 Ghana Voluntary National Review Report
19 August 2022
The UN system commends Ghana for its efforts at implementing the SDGs and commits to provide continuous support towards its achievement.
Good afternoon – I am delighted to be participating at the exciting launch of Ghana’s 2022 Voluntary National Review report. I was privileged to accompany Ghana to the High-level Political Forum and can confirm that I too witnessed the excitement and positive manner in which Ghana’s report was received.
On behalf of the UN, I would like to acknowledge and congratulate the Government of Ghana for their commitment and dedication to producing the 2022 VNR, despite significant challenges experienced in Ghana and globally, especially since 2020.
This report is the result of a consultative and participatory process led by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), involving Government of Ghana Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Civil Society Organizations (including representation of youth, women, children and persons living with disabilities), the private sector, UN Agencies and a host of development partners. We welcome, and commend, the Government of Ghana’s strong commitment to the SDGs, as demonstrated through this process. Ayekoo!
The 2022 VNR provides an invaluable snapshot of major SDGs progress, challenges, lessons learned, and identifies catalytic and transformative priorities and ways forward to enable and accelerate SDGs achievement, especially in the context of resource constraints occasioned by serial shocks such as COVID-19 and current ongoing conflicts. It also enables Ghana and its supporters, including the UN and the development community to pause, reflect and recalibrate its support in the key areas that will help accelerate the SDGs and Ghana achieving its laudable aspirations of self reliance.
The main messages emerging from the VNR 2022, highlight Ghana’s need to:
strengthen finance and resource mobilization mechanisms to address SDGs financing gaps; this is indeed well understood, and we both call on and support government efforts, through various tracks of work including the Financing Roadmap, to deliver on the gap.
address major socio-economic and environmental challenges to sustain achievement of SDGs, including unemployment, investment in youth and human capital, leveraging AfCTA for inclusive economic development, and reducing vulnerabilities through social protection coverage; Ghana’s active engagement on the follow-up work from last years’ Food Systems Summit as well as engagement in the upcoming COP 27 and ongoing work to deepen implementation of trade across the continent are evidence of the recognition of this. Strengthening health systems and building local productive capacity and value-chain development are all important steps being taken.
Investments in human capital development required to drive the engine of change, with a particular focus on groups (youth, women, persons with disabilities) and on geographies where special attention is required. The recent periodization of skills in the upcoming Transforming Education Summit as well as the recent launch of the revised National Youth Policy are encouraging steps. The youth are our future and investments now are key.
strengthen and broaden partnerships with the private sector, civil society, traditional authorities, diasporan community and others; on numerous occasions, Mr. President has called for innovation in partnerships that fully leverage the potential to address the challenges, intensify and improve data collection structures and mechanisms for a robust data production, management and analysis systems that informs evidence based policy-making; Ghana recently conducted a very credible census. This already provides a trove of data and we wish to congratulate the Ghana Statistical Service on its leadership in drawing out data for decision-making.
Ghana will need to address infrastructure deficits in key sectors (health, education, and sanitation services); strengthen the ongoing national digitalization drive; and mitigate the impacts of climate change and variability for green growth;
Investment in new research – across key sectors – will also serve to deepen Ghana’s resilience and accelerate it on its path towards country-owned self-reliance;
Let us also pause and congratulate NDPC for providing exemplary leadership of the process. Under its leadership, Ghana has a lot to be proud of. The UN in Ghana, as an Implementation Coordinating Ccommittee member, actively supported the 2022 VNR process through technical, coordination and financial assistance.
We commit to continuing to support the Government of Ghana and other stakeholders in taking forward the recommendations and we will be embedding the key learnings and opportunities arising from the 2022 VNR in our next United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNDSDCF).
We are in the final stages of building the new Cooperation Framework with Ghana, aligned better to Government priorities stated in the Medium-Term Policy Development Framework, flagship initiatives and regional and international commitments. Our analysis identifies key SDG accelerators that are well aligned with national development priorities and the VNR main messages (on financing, inclusive greener growth, the opportunity of digital transformation, ensuring we reach those furthest left behind and strengthen inclusion and engagement of citizens, building forward as Ghana rapidly urbanizes, and taking actions that strengthen cohesion and reinforce peace and security). The Cooperation Framework, to be finalized now, will, we promise, reflect the Government’s expectations of the UN and drive the UN Country Team priorities – on issues as well as geographies and partnerships – as we support Ghana to achieve the SDGs. The Cooperation Framework will be the foundational platform upon which the UN’s value-adding contribution will be anchored, harnessing the expertise of 35 UN agencies to support Ghana across the key accelerators.
On behalf of the UN Country Team in Ghana, we congratulate again the Government of Ghana for its leadership on the SDGs as a foundational framing of its developmental aspirations, especially by embedding SDGs within national systems and structures. These positives steps have supported resilience in the face of unexpected challenges and fostered a spirit of ambition and partnership that must be nurtured and empowered to propel Ghana to achieve the Global Goals by 2030.
We welcome this bold and positive contribution to Ghana building forward better through a peaceful, resilient and transformative march towards achieving self-reliance and the SDGs. Of course, much remains to be done! The launch of this report and the ongoing activities across a raft of sectors provide evidence of a solid foundation for achieving them.
Finally, we reiterate the importance of Ghana ‘leading from the front’ through commitment, innovation, resources and partnerships to achieve the emerging recommendations from this process. The entire United Nations system and I am sure, the entire development partner community in Ghana is behind you and your nation, Mr. President, and reaffirms its commitment to continue to support efforts towards achieving the SDGs, leaving no one behind and taking the steps that will intimately lead to a Ghana Beyond Aid.