SDGs: Localised Messages for Ghana

The following messages for the localisation of the SDGs in Ghana have been developed by the UN Communication Group (UNCG) to ensure a unified discourse on the 2030 Development Agenda and to spread the message in a coherent manner. The messages take into consideration the fact that the SDGs are not UN goals but rather goals developed by the Member States of the United Nations. 

These messages have been prepared against the backdrop of the three pillars of Economic Growth, Social Inclusion and Environmental Protection, which are intrinsically linked if we are to achieve the SDGs.

Key message:

The SDGs are about People, Planet, Peace, Prosperity through Partnership.

Ghana’s role:

Being one of 50 countries in which the post-2015 agenda consultations were held in 2012-13, Ghana was directly involved in the development of the SDGs, and as such the goals reflect the aspirations and needs of the people of Ghana.

National governments are primarily responsible for the implementation of the SDGs and must take the lead through establishing national plans. The United Nations commends Ghana for its commitment to domesticate the SDGs into the overall medium-term Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda II and the Long-Term National Development Plan, and will continue to provide the needed technical support to its Development Partners including the public sector institutions in the realization of the national development agenda.

The official launch of the SDGs in Ghana in February 2016 by then-President John Dramani Mahama demonstrates Ghana’s commitment to enabling the understanding of SDGs by the broader public and working towards achieving the SDGs in the country.

Appointed by the former UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, former President Mahama acted as Co-chair of the Group of Eminent Advocates for the Sustainable Agenda 2030 in 2016 which was formed to assist in the campaign and generate commitment to achieve the SDGs. This appointment highlights the significant role that Ghana plays as a leader, especially on the African continent, for the attainment of the SDGs.

The National Development Planning Commission is the lead national public sector institution for incorporating the SDGs and the Regional Agenda 2063 into the national development agenda. The UN and Development Partners stand ready to support this effort in terms of policy, statistical benchmarking and monitoring, and accountability mechanisms.  

General Information on the SDGs:

The core of the SDGs is sustainable development which is defined as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will spur actions by governments, the private sector, civil society and other stakeholders to end poverty and build a more sustainable world over the next 15 years.

The SDGs are universal goals and targets which involve the entire world, developed and developing countries alike.

The 17 SDGs are broad in scope; but all 17 goals are intrinsically linked as they must foster economic growth, ensure social inclusion and protect the environment. We must harmonize these three elements if we are to achieve the 2030 Agenda and end poverty in all its forms.

The 17 SDGs are our shared vision of humanity and a social contract between our leaders and the people.

The 17 SDGs will set the agenda for many policy decisions in the coming years, impact resource mobilization and flows, and highlight humanity’s common interest in a durable process of improving the lives of every single person.

Public information on the SDGs is crucial: when people are armed with information, they are empowered to act, and will come together in solidarity to meet the challenges that affect them all.

Economic Development:

  • The global economy continues to recover and poverty has been reduced. However, we see slower growth, widening inequalities and employment that is not expanding fast enough to keep up with the growing labor force. The SDGs aim to encourage sustained economic growth by achieving higher levels of productivity and decent work for all women and men by 2030.
  • Achieving the SDGs will mean ending poverty in all its forms through the optimal and efficient use of natural resources and the creation of the conditions that allow people to have quality jobs.
  • Education, science, technology and innovation must be a vehicle for ending poverty in all its forms.

Social Inclusion:

  • Social inclusion, the defining pledge of the Sustainable Development Agenda, directs attention on various forms of inequality in areas such as education, health, nutrition, labor and immigration, and on political participation by every citizen to ensure that no one is left behind.
  • Ghana’s Social Protection Policy, launched in June 2016 seeks to protect the most vulnerable, to close the inequality gap and to ensure the inclusion of all Ghanaians through a coordinated and inter-sectoral social protection system that will enable people to live in dignity.
  • Social inclusion ensures fair access to environmental and public goods such as clean air, clean water, parks, gardens, libraries etc.

Environmental Protection:

  • The SDGs are concerned with the conservation and enhancement of the physical and biological resource base and eco-systems.
  • Extreme weather conditions, such as floods typically experienced in Accra and major cities in the country, are affecting people’s lives, productive capacity, health and livelihoods.
  • Ongoing environmental degradation is likely to have a strong impact on the poor and marginalized populations since they tend to (i) depend the most on natural resources for their livelihoods, (ii) live in areas that are particularly prone to environmental degradation; and (iii) be less able to protect themselves against the effect of environmental degradation.
  • Climate change could impede Ghana’s ability to achieve the goals as it has a strong impact on various aspects of social and economic sectors.
  • On the other hand, mitigation of climate change can cushion us from the shocks we experience from climate change or reduce our vulnerability.