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GHANA:PRIVATE SECTOR READY TO PARTNER WITH GOVERNMENT, CSOs ON THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGs)

The CSO Platform on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has expressed the readiness of the Private Sector and Civil Society Organizations to partner with government on the implementation of the SDGs.
As part of efforts to encourage a multi-stakeholder partnership on the SDGs, Government of Ghana has made civil society an integral part of the SDGs implementation processes and structures.
However, efforts to coordinate the SDGs have so far not formerly included the private sector. Much as a good model has been carved for government-civil society engagement, the same cannot be said for the government-private sector engagement. Having a well-coordinated collaborative framework between government, private sector and civil society is critical for attaining successful implementation of the SDGs by 2030. There is a need to create a structure that includes all stakeholders in a more coordinated and collaborative manner.
To this end, the CSO Platform on SDGs, Ghana, in collaboration with Deloitte, the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), under the auspices of the Office of the President, SDGs Advisory Unit, is working to create a multi stakeholder platform for effective coordination of activities relating to the SDGs. The first step to this plan was a Multi-Stakeholder Conference organised on Thursday, Nov. 30th at the Accra International Conference Centre on the theme: ‘Opportunities in sustainable development through strategic partnerships’
The conference received huge attendance from some big private sector players like Unilever Ghana, Melcom Group of Companies, Vodafone Ghana, Private Enterprise Federation, Toyota Ghana, Nestle Ghana to mention but a few.
Speaking on behalf of the Private sector, Nana Osie-Bonsu, CEO, Private Enterprise Federation (PEF), in his opening remarks stated that the SDGs is just the template of what every country or government seeks to address. “If you look at the SDGs there is nothing new which the citizens are looking for so we at the private sector welcome the message of the SDGs”. He noted that, economic conditions under which private businesses operate must be critically looked at, for instance, certain policies that make business unattractive must be reviewed. He indicated that the private sector is ready to engage the government and CSOs especially the CSO Platform on SDGs in Ghana to look at the available opportunities in the SDGs. “There are opportunities for all of us but what is needed is the efficient partnership for all of us to have a voice in what is to be done to sustain efforts towards the attainment of the SDGs” he stated.
Mr Charles Larbi-Odam, Country Managing Executive, Deloitte mentioned the importance of the SDGs to the future of our world and stated that Deliotte believes the SDGs are not just for governments and CSOs but also the private sector. He emphasized the point that businesses have the capacity to make huge impact on the SDGs implementation processes. “The SDGs is not just good for humanity but also good for businesses”. Mr Larbi-Odam concluded his speech with these words, “I welcome you all to this meeting and at the end encourage all parties to align your works with the SDGs because the SDGs is a good choice, it is good for business and for the world”.
The speech by His Excellency Nana Akufo Addo, President of Ghana, read on his behalf by Dr Eugene Owusu, Special Advisor to the President on the SDGs noted that Ghana has succeeded in integrating the SDGs into its development programs and also set up a high level ministerial committee on the SDGs which demonstrate the level of commitment to meet the various targets of the SDGs by 2030.
The President outlined five key issues he considers important for the SDGs: taking bold ambitions through innovative ideas in achieving the goals, not looking to external support to implement the goals, focusing on the demand side – notably creating greater public awareness for citizens to hold leaders accountable, promote private sector involvement, and fully utilize the potentials of women.
The President concluded by noting that, “Partnering and investing in the SDGs is good economics and is good for politics”
On assumption of office, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, together with the Prime Minister of Norway, Ms Erna Solberg was appointed as Co-Chairs of a group of seventeen (17) Eminent SDGs Advocates to support the UN Secretary-General in his efforts to generate momentum and commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030.
The Eminent Advocate position places a responsibility on the Government, civil society organisations (CSOs), private sector and citizens of Ghana to ensure that the country achieves the SDGs by the year 2030.

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