The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, yesterday presented decisions reached at a workshop organised by the Manhyia Palace on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House in Accra.
The workshop, which was organised in honour of the late former UN Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan, was aimed at getting the private sector and traditional rulers to lend their full support to the attainment of the SDGs.
A delegation dispatched by the Asantehene, led by the Bompatahene, Nana Effah Appenteng, presented a plaque embossed with the outcomes of the workshop to the President, who is co-Chair of the UN Secretary-General’s Eminent Group of Advocates.
The workshop on SDGs, which was organised on November 12, 2018 under the chairmanship of Otumfuo Osei Tutu, was, among other things, aimed at creating the enabling environment for traditional leaders, the private sector, academia, civil society organisations (CSOs) and the youth to contribute their quota towards the attainment of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
The outcome, known as the “Kumasi Declaration”, urged the government to enhance mechanisms for the mobilisation of domestic resources in support of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, as well as create innovative financing structures to integrate public investment with traditional corporate financing.
“His Majesty wants me to emphasise that this represents our modest contribution to the ongoing international discourse on how best to facilitate the attainment of the 17 goals within the prescribed time frame of 50 years,” Nana Appenteng told the President.
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Responding, President Akufo-Addo said: “What took place in Kumasi is a very peculiarly Ghanaian contribution to the advancement of the SDG programme.
It is an excellent initiative and I am happy about the outcome.”
He said “the declaration strengthens my hand, particularly in my role as co-Chair of the Secretary-General’s Eminent Group of Advocates that I can bring to the table something which is uniquely Ghanaian in terms of the mixture of the various elements that have gone into it”.
He expressed the hope that “if we are able to sustain this kind of initiatives within our own modest resources, we can find a strong weapon and mechanism for advancing the goals of these SDGs”.
President Akufo-Addo said the SDGs represented the global agenda but anything of a global nature translated itself ultimately to specific and individual national contributions.
“It means that we can get a serious handle on how to go forward in these programmes.
This is a programme that is going to require those who have the means to help finance, like private sector people,” he stated.
He said as custodians of the nation’s heritage, chiefs had a crucial role to play in the attainment of the SDGs.
“The people who hold the balance in terms of our history, our customary laws and movement can see how they too can contribute to the development of the SDGs.
It’s an excellent initiative and I am very happy that we have a concrete outcome in the product which is the Kumasi Declaration,” he added.
He gave an assurance that he would take the initiative of sending the declaration to the UN Secretary-General to let him know what had taken place.
To that end, he said, the declaration was already part and parcel of the SDG deliberations at the highest level.
The President expressed appreciation to Otumfuo Osei Tutu and all the other stakeholders, saying: “You are aiding me in my work and facilitating it and I believe that the opportunity will be there for us to have other engagements of the same nature.”
The Chief Executive Officer of Deloitte, one of the sponsors of the Manhyia workshop, Mr Charles Larbi Odam, for his part, said it was evident that the private sector and businesses had an impact to make by contributing to the achievement of the SDGs.
“Achieving the SDGs is not only for humanity but also good for business.
It is, therefore, our view that no enduring commercial success can be de-linked from sustainable development,” he stated.
The Group Head in charge of Legal and Company Secretary, Fidelity Bank, Ms Maataa Opare, also expressed the commitment of the bank to the SDGs, saying: “It is an enthusiastic part of our project because we have the desire to impact the lives of people.”
She disclosed that The Netherlands government had supported the bank with four million Euros, out of which three million Euros was used for water and sanitation projects.