Three organisations have formed a partnership to promote peace, unity and accelerated economic development in three West African countries.
The partnership by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Abibiman Foundation, and the African Diaspora Chamber of Commerce (ADCC) is dubbed "Nkabom (unity), journey for peace and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.
The four-year pilot programme — which focuses on Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal — will also involve Africans in the diaspora and 20 other developed countries.
A tripartite memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed among the partners to that effect yesterday to concretise the partnership.
The Director of Development Policy of the NDPC, Dr Felix Addo-Yobo, signed for the commission, while the Founder of non-governmental organisation (NGO) Abibiman Foundation, Mr Kwabena Okai Ofosuhene, and the Founder of ADCC, Ms Pat McCants, signed for their organisations.
Dr Addo-Yobo said leveraging the initiative on the SDGs and the AU Agenda 2063 was remarkable and consistent with Ghana’s development agenda.
The commission, he said, found two key components of the Nkabom initiative, namely awareness creation of the SDGs and mobilising private sector investment for SDGs-related projects as very useful to Ghana’s development.
“For Ghana, the SDGs and the Agenda 2063 are being implemented through the decentralised planning system, with the various sectors and local authorities playing lead roles. Ghana has also adopted a whole of society approach, participation of the private sector, civil society organisations (CSOs), traditional authorities, faith-based organisations and the academia, among others,” he said.
With 10 years left for achieving the SDGs, Dr Addo-Yobo said it was imperative to deepen awareness and mobilise a critical mass of public support for the SDGs, saying that would engender the active participation of the public in the implementation of the SDGs, as well as demand accountability from duty bearers.
“We, therefore, need to find innovative and effective ways of getting the message of the SDGs to all corners of the country, and help people find ways to contribute to the global agenda,” he said.
At the ceremony, Mr Ofosuhene said the initiative was based on a combined approach matrix concept, stakeholder and resource mobilisation, and monitoring and evaluation strategies.
He said the NGO believed that the SDGs provided a very good medium-term development strategy for the selected countries to build solid development foundations upon which the African Union's Agenda 2063 strategy would provide the long-term development agenda.
"We also believe that the effective cooperation, collaborations and partnerships among all relevant stakeholders are required and very important in the promotion and mobilisation of the needed social capital, political capital and financial capital that are vital for the SDGs and the AU’s Agenda 2063,” he said.
Mr Ofosuhene, who is also the Executive Chairman of the Abibiman Foundation, said governmental departments and agencies, the international community and development partners, corporate bodies, private sector, CSOs and NGOs had key roles to play in the country’s efforts towards the actualisation of the SDGs and the AU’s Agenda 2063.
He said Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal were on track with their national SDG targets, and that their economies were driving the development of West Africa until the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which continued to damage the impact on the productivity capacity of African countries.
Ms McCants, who is also the Chairperson of the ADCC, said the chamber was grateful to the Abibiman Foundation for partnering it to start the developmental project in Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal.
“Most ADCC members per DNA test have their roots from Ghana and Nigeria, and so partnering in this project is just like coming back to invest at home, and we are fully ready to invest at home.
For the past five years, she said, the ADCC’s office in Nigeria had been able to successfully transact business without engaging in any fraudulent or corrupt activities, saying “that is something I am proud of as the Chairman of ADCC”.