- On April 29, 2015
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Civil Society Organisation, SEND-GHANA, has urged the Government of Ghana to consider aligning its Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) priorities with national development.
Speaking at a National Stakeholder Dialogue in Accra on April 21, 2015, to discuss Ghana’s position and priorities on the 17 proposed SDGs, Mr. Siapha Kamara, Chief Executive Officer of SEND-WEST AFRICA argued that, one of the weaknesses of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is that, Ghana didn’t have a substantive conversation about the MDGs even before it was launched.
“The MDGs were talked down to us and were decided. Developing countries had limited choices. And that is why in the post 2015 SDGs, there is a global effort particularly Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to make sure that we have this kind of discussion at the national level not only for government but also for citizens, in order that we can first of all, be able to identify what our priorities are and align them with our own national agenda.
This is very crucial because we are likely to start spending resources in a way that we shouldn’t, if we don’t align our priorities.”
On his part, the Chairman for the meeting, Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, who is also the Senior Economic Advisor, Office of the President & Director General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) gave the assurance that; the SGDs will fit into the national plan.
Dr. Thompson commended SEND-GHANA for being progressive on issues of broad development concern and in particular of social development.
“There are lessons to be drawn from the experiences of the MDGs. There has been uneven progress in spite all the resources and efforts, with the MDGs particularly the area of MDGs 5 and 7. We have not done as well as we should and we have re-visit that and find out why, especially in the case of maternal mortality in circumstances that is preventable, he lamented.
He argues that, “sometimes it is not just about money but the presence of effective systems, we need to work smart. In spite of the decline of poverty levels in Ghana, there is a rise in inequality,” he added.
Ghana is currently part of the intergovernmental negotiations on the proposed 17 SDGs taking place at UN level. The entire process will soon climax with the adoption of the final post-2015 development agenda by the UN General Assembly at a Summit in New York, September 25 – 27, 2015.
Representation from institutions and organisations such as the Office of the President, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), University of Ghana Business School, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), United States Agency for International Aid (USAID) Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), Water Aid, IDEG, IBIS, Christian Aid,the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ghana Statistical Service, ISSER, Civil Society and the Ghana Trades Union Congress were present to contribute to the discussion. The conversation had participants discuss three proposed goals. These include health, education and agriculture.
The meeting which formed part of the National Conversation on the Post 2015 Development Agenda Project was organized by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) and SEND-GHANA with funding support from the New Venture Fund.