Dr Kodjo Essiem Mensah-Abrampa (right), Director-General, National Development Planning Commission, in a discussion with Pauliina Sarvilahti (left), Chief, Social Policy and Inclusion, UNICEF, and Richard Osei Bofah, Chief Analyst, NDPC, after the meeting. Picture: EDNA SALVO-KOTEY
Dr Kodjo Essiem Mensah-Abrampa (right), Director-General, National Development Planning Commission, in a discussion with Pauliina Sarvilahti (left), Chief, Social Policy and Inclusion, UNICEF, and Richard Osei Bofah, Chief Analyst, NDPC, after the meeting. Picture: EDNA SALVO-KOTEY

Meeting 2030 SDG deadline: 5 Targets must be prioritised — Report

The country needs to prioritise five targets to accelerate the achievement of the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs), a report by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) has said.

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Although the 17 SDGs have 169 targets, the technical report of the commission mentioned targets 16.6 - developing effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels; 8.5 - decent work and economic growth; 4.1 – equitable and quality primary and secondary education; 6.2 - clean water and sanitation; and 7.3 - affordable and clean energy as those that the government must pay attention to achieving.

It is barely seven years to the deadline for the achievement of the goals.

The Chief Analyst on Development, Policy and Planning Division of NDPC, Dr Richard Osei Bofah, said achieving those five SDGs would directly lead to the attainment of 140 out of the 169 global targets.

"As we strive to achieve the SDGs, we need to be efficient, minimise waste, be coordinated and channel resources appropriately.

“And in doing that, we should keep an eye on these five areas because we observed that a trigger or one cedi spent in those areas will have multiple effects in other areas,"  he said.

Event

Dr Bofah was speaking during a presentation of the report at a stakeholders’ dialogue organised by the commission in Accra yesterday.

It was on the theme: "At the mid-point: dialogue on sustainable development agenda stocktaking and accelerators," and was attended by civil society organisations (CSOs), academia, researchers, state agencies and development partners who discussed the country’s SDG situation.

Relevance

The report said the prioritisation of SDG 16.6 would help to deal with corruption, boost transparency and remove waste from the system.

It also said that building of strong, effective and transparent institutions (SDG 16.6) would create synergies with 72 other targets while creating zero trade-offs.

Prioritisation of full and productive employment and decent work for all women, men and persons with disabilities (SDG 8.5) had the potential to create synergies with 55 related targets across other goals while creating two trade-offs.

The report further said that if more attention was given to free and equitable access to quality primary and secondary education in the country (SDG4.1), 22 synergies would be created with only three trade-offs.

On SDG 6.2, the report said improvement in access to sanitation and ending of open defecation would create 132 synergies across the SDG spectrum with 35 trade-offs.

Regarding energy efficiency (SDG7.2), the report said 75 synergies would be created with 26 trade-offs.

Prioritisation

The Director-General of NDPC, Kodjo Esseim Mensah-Abrampa, also said that the prioritisation of the five SDG targets was important because the goals complemented each other.

He added that in the face of limited funding, prioritising the targets would ensure the optimisation of resources to help achieve the goals.

Dr Mensah-Abrampah further underscored the need for institutions, including the private sector, to support the government interventions on attainment of the SDGs. 

Stocktaking

The UN Resident Coordinator, Charles Abani, described the dialogue as timely, saying that stocktaking of the SDGs would help to identify successes and actions needed to be taken to accelerate the attainment of the goals.

He said there was also the need for a bold global recommitment to enhance the chances of achieving the SDGs and for countries to deepen the mainstreaming of the goals into their development plans.

"The SDGs do not sit separately in the sky; so they must be approached within the context of national development," Mr Abani added.

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He also called for strengthening of partnerships across governments, CSOs and the private sector, including leveraging relationships with development partners to accelerate efforts at achieving the goals.

Mr Abani, however, acknowledged that more sustainable funding sources were needed to help achieve the SDGs. 

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