Ghana has successfully presented a Second Voluntary National Review (VNR) at this year’s United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) organised under the auspices of Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) after the first review in 2019.
The Chairman of the National Development Planning commission (NDPC), Prof. George Gyan-Baffour, made the presentation on behalf of the Government of Ghana at the 2022 HLPF in New York and underscored the progress made in specific SDGs.
He told the forum that significant advancements, albeit the pandemic, were made in “quality education” (SDG4) which is a transformative tool for national development.
“Following the easing of restrictions, improvements have been recorded in children who engaged in any type of learning activity – increasing from 62.2 percent to 71.3 percent from June to September in 2020”, he said.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour indicated that the Free SHS policy, introduced in 2017, had continued to provide access to education particularly for low-income households.
“The enrolment figures at the Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service’s Technical and Vocational Institutes have increased steadily from 54,186 in 2017 to 71,126 in 2021, representing an annual average growth of 7.8 percent,” he pointed out.
According to the Chairman of NDPC, 100 percent completion rate has been achieved at Primary Level while JHS continue to record improvements reaching 83.1%.
“In addition, Gender parity in access to education which was achieved in 2018 has been sustained at all levels with exception of the Senior High School level, which is currently close to parity – at 0.96. There has been consistent improvement in forest cover over the years.
“Aggressive tree planting campaign is being undertaken under the Green Ghana project and as a result, 20 million trees were planted this year with the target of planting at least 100million trees cumulatively by 2023. This ties well with “life on land” (SDG15),” he noted.
The NDPC said the use of internet had increased by about tenfold over a decade, “reaching 80.6% of the population, bringing the people closer than ever before”. This, he said, shows progress in partnership for the Goals (SDG17), noting that this achievement provides an enabling environment for the digitization agenda of government.
He emphasized that, all the achievements and progress made by government of Ghana demanded more efforts to scale up sustainable solutions.
To this end, Prof Gyan-Baffour called for multi-stakeholder partnership for innovation and resource mobilization, the establishment of an effective link between planning and resource allocation, availability of quality data and the continuous coordination of the United Nations Country Team to appropriately cement the achievements made by Government.
This year, 44 countries including Ghana carried-out Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) of their implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.
The HLPF was dubbed, “Building Back Better from the Coronavirus Disease while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. The 2022 HLPF held in-depth reviews of five SDGs: 4 (quality education), 5 (gender equality), 14 (life below water), 15 (life on land), and 17 (partnerships for the Goals).
Ghana’s VNR report preparation process was open and inclusive as stakeholders such as Youth and Children groups, Persons with Disability, women’s groups, civil society, academia and traditional authorities were consulted.