The United Nations Sustainable Development Partnership with Ghana, 2018-2022


The UN works in partnership with the Government and people of Ghana for sustainable economic, social and environmental development, peace and democracy, and human rights.

On 13 June 2018, the Government of Ghana and the United Nations in Ghana jointly signed the UN Sustainable Development Partnership 2018-2022 (UNSDP), a five-year strategic framework that sets out the collective vision and response of the UN system to national development priorities.

The UNSDP was signed by the Minister of Finance, Honourable Kenneth Ofori-Atta, and the Minister of Planning, Honourable George Yaw Gyan-Baffour, on behalf of the Government, and by Ms. Christine Evans-Klock, UN Resident Coordinator for Ghana, and the heads of 24 UN Agencies working in Ghana.

Informed by findings of the UN’s Common Country Analysis and Human Rights Assessment, the UNSDP was developed to align with the Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies, 2017-2024 (CPESDP), which was submitted to Parliament by President Nana Akufo-Addo on 20 October 2017. The CPESDP sets out a vision for agricultural modernisation, industrial diversification, and youth employment and articulates a self-reliant pathway to economic transformation and inclusive growth.  This vision for national development incorporates Ghana’s global development commitments, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. 

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an ambitious, global and unified agenda for social, economic and environmental development, translated into concrete and measurable results through its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  The SDGs are owned nationally, and each of the 196 UN Member States that signed the 2030 Agenda in September 2015 is responsible for setting its own strategies for how to achieve them - strategies that are enabled through national budgets and that are prioritised in development partnerships.

The title for the UN programme for Ghana, UN Sustainable Development Partnership, reflects two commitments.  First, it rightly signifies the nature of the work of the UN as partnership with the Government and people of Ghana rather than as provision of assistance or aid, which is appropriate for Ghana as a rising Middle-Income Country.

Second, it focuses UN interventions on the shared commitment to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. The UN’s facilitation of South-South knowledge-sharing, advisory services for policy design and implementation, capacity-building, data collection and use, advocacy, and impact assessment all focus on helping Ghana achieve the SDGs.

Ghana’s leadership for the 2030 Agenda worldwide was recognised by the 2017 appointment of President Akufo-Addo as co-Chair of the UN Secretary-General’s group of SDG Eminent Advocates.  This global leadership helps drive SDG achievement at home.  The UNSDP supports that effort, guided by the underlying principles of the SDGs to leave no one behind, to improve equity by meeting first the needs of those who are furthest behind, to promote gender equality, and to ensure access to justice for all. 

The UNSDP sets out the UN’s partnership for 2018-2022 through four strategic Results Areas: 1) Shared prosperous economy; 2) Social investment in people; 3) Protected and safe environment; and 4) Inclusive, accountable governance. 

These four Result Areas align closely to the components of the 2030 Agenda: Prosperity, People, Planet, Peace, and Partnerships, and to the five policy areas of the Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies: Economic development; Social development; Environment, infrastructure and human settlements development; Governance, corruption and public accountability; and Strengthening Ghana’s role in international affairs.

Results Area One, Shared prosperous economy, promotes productive agriculture to drive sustainable industrialisation, ensure a hunger- and malnutrition-free nation and generate decent jobs that expand opportunities for inclusive economic growth.

Results Area Two, Social investment in people, supports Government capabilities to deliver equitable, quality and financially-sustainable social services in education, health and social protection, especially to vulnerable groups.

Results Area Three, Protected and safe environment, promotes effective and coherent environmental governance at national and local levels, and seeks to build up the resilience of both urban and rural communities.

Results Area Four, Inclusive, accountable governance, strengthens the transparency and accountability of institutions at all levels that protect the rights of all Ghanaians.

Within these Results Areas, UN actions will help achieve cross-cutting priorities that reflect UN values on human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment, data for development, HIV/AIDS, and resilience and preparedness for humanitarian crises. In following the priority set in the CPESDP, UN efforts across all areas of work will also explicitly target youth development. The entire UNSDP is designed to support Ghana’s commitment that private sector-led growth be inclusive and equitable growth.

The UNSDP sets out the collective contributions of 24 UN Agencies working in Ghana. This partnership agreement encompasses the entirety of the UN’s activities in Ghana within a One Programme for Ghana.  It will be implemented through annual joint work plans agreed with Government Ministries and Agencies and carried out with many implementing partners in government, civil society, and academia. 

Monitoring and guidance for UNSDP implementation will be carried forward through the High Level Ministerial Committee for the SDG established by President Akufo-Addo on 7 September 2017. 

The five-year UNSDP is costed at USD 441.5 million. Funding is expected from UN Agencies’ own resources, technical cooperation programmes supported by development partners, and resources to be mobilised through global or regional funds, such as on climate change.

The UNSDP succeeds the previous UN Programme, the UN Development Assistance Framework, 2012-2017.


The members of the UN Country Team in Ghana, and signatories to the new UNSDP, comprise representative offices of FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation), IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development), IOM (International Organisation for Migration), UNAIDS (United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS), UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund), UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation); UNOPS (United Nations Office for Project Services), UNU-INRA (United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa), WFP (World Food Programme), and WHO (World Health Organisation). Other UN agencies provide advisory and technical support through project offices in Ghana: ILO (International Labour Organisation), IMO (International Maritime Organisation), UNCDF (United Nations Capital Development Fund), UN-Habitat (United Nations Human Settlements Programme), and UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime), or from their regional or global Headquarters: IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), OCHA (United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs), OHCHR (United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights), UN Environment, and UN WOMEN (UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women).