The maiden edition of the national inter senior high school debate and essay competition on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been launched in Accra.
The competition titled, “Rolling ICE on SDGs Ghana Project”, will put a spotlight on the country’s achievement of the SDGs and the level of awareness in the country.
It will also recognise and award exceptional students for innovations that will lead to the solution of key challenges linked to the SDGs.
A total of 691 public schools are expected to take part in the competition being implemented by a non-profit organisation, Millennium Promise Alliance (MPA), which has been at the forefront of promoting the SDGs in Ghana and across Africa.
At a ceremony to launch the competition, the Executive Director of the MPA, Chief Nat Ebo Nsarko said the event would use a combination of arts and entertainment such as painting, drawing, music, reading and cartoons to engage young people on the issues of the SDGs and the country’s level of achievement of the said goals.
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He said, "Rolling ICE competition seeks to create awareness through information sharing, communication through channels to aid understanding and education through mentorship for action."
The competition is on the theme: "Involving the Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Leaving no one Behind," and it will focus on critical thinkers, change-makers, innovators, communicators and team leaders to reward best students.
Winners at the various categories of the SDGs will be given cash prizes and souvenirs with overall best students representing Ghana at the United Nations (UN) as youth delegates, with others serving as brand ambassadors.
Chief Nsarko explained that young people faced structural and societal barriers that hindered their full and effective participation in political, economic and community activities, thus placing them at increased risk of poverty, violence, disadvantage, displacement and marginalisation, indicating that such programmes focusing on the youth could help young people attain their full potential.
In a speech read on her behalf, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mrs Cynthia Morrison urged students to put in their best to promote the implementation of the various SDGs, especially on poverty reduction, good health and well-being and gender equality.
She said the government had put in place various initiatives to achieve the SDGs and hoped that before the end of 2030, most of the goals would have been achieved.
The Millennium Promise Alliance, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service (GES), also launched the SDG mobile application software.