The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) has engaged some stakeholders in the Upper West Region on Ghana’s 2022 Voluntary National Review (VNR) on the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The deliberation brought together stakeholders in the media, Civil Society Organisations, youth groups, children, Persons with Disability, and representatives from the Wa and Jirapa Municipal Assemblies, Nadowli-Kaleo, Wa West, and Daffiama-Bussie-Issa Districts.
In a presentation, Mr Michael Kissi Boateng, the Planning Analyst at the NDPC, said the government had integrated both the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Africa Agenda 2063 into its national development agenda.
He explained that as part of efforts to achieve the SDG, the government had localised the SDGs implementation at all levels and required the participation of every person in society.
“The Sustainable Development Goals are for all of us. It is not the UN or some national bodies. It is for all citizens to achieve. So, our approach in implementing it is for everybody to come on board”, he explained.
He cited teenage pregnancy as one sector that required the involvement of stakeholders at all levels, including the traditional authority and community leaders, Ghana Education Service, the school children, and the private sector among others to achieve.
Mr Boateng explained that the government was making strides in achieving the SDGs but not without challenges.
He said the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country had affected the government’s efforts in achieving SDG 1 on poverty eradication.
He explained that the pandemic had also pushed some people back into the poverty line while others lost their jobs to the pandemic, but that the government’s interventions such as the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) were geared toward achieving that goal.
Mr Boateng added that the high cost of food products in the country in recent times had also affected the achievement of SDG 2, which sought to end hunger in the country.
He said the implementation of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) and School Feeding Programme were also interventions in achieving that Goal.
Mr James Baba Anabigah, the Speaker of the Upper West Regional Youth Parliament, observed that there was a need for the government to put in measures to reduce the high youth unemployment rate in the country.
He said successive governments had attempted mitigating the canker, but that no results seem to have been achieved as the unemployment gap kept widening over the years.
Miss Naphitale Beyuo, a student of the Wa Module Junior High School, also appealed to the government to take steps in reducing the cost of sanitary pads to enable all girls to have access to the product irrespective of their economic status.
She explained that the high cost of sanitary pads, which is currently about GH₵10.00, was adversely affecting the education of the girls as they sometimes stayed home during their menstrual periods.
By Philip Tengzu, GNA