For the second year in a row, progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) stalled in 2021. The gallant march
toward creating the “world we want” has been constrained by the ravaging effects of Climate Change, the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and recently the dire impact of the Russian/Ukraine conflict. These crises have diverted actions of governments and business away from critical SDGs interventions to focus on short-term issues and squeezed funding for sustainable development overall. SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 2(No hunger) and SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) have been particularly impacted by these crises with an estimated 93 million additional people worldwide were pushed into extreme poverty and a staggering 1 in 3 people worldwide lacking regular access to adequate food in 2021.
The weak socio-economic resilience of many developing countries has resulted in a slow recovery process in these countries, with dire consequences for the SDGs. With a little over eight years to the 2030 target year, the task of achieving the SDGs has become more onerous, but we cannot afford to give up because the dignity of current and future generations, and the health of the planet are at stake. As reiterated by H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo,
“The SDGs provide a useful framework for putting our world on a sustainable pathway and creating a safer, resilient, and prosperous society for current and future generations”.
Over the last two years, the SDGs Advisory Unit in the Office of the President focused its efforts on strengthening strategic partnerships, and driving advocacy and innovation around the SDGs both locally and internationally.
The Unit spearheaded activities on behalf of H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo, in his roles as Co-chair of the Eminent Group of SDG Advocates as well as a founding member of the High-level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean (Ocean Panel), and also amplified the President’s messages on topical issues such as climate change, ocean health, development financing and inequality. We are proud to be associated with President Akufo- Addo’s appointment to the position of Co-chair of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Emeritus Group of SDGs Advocates and we are motivated to work tirelessly to inspire action on the SDGs, both locally and internationally.
This report provides a snapshot of key activities carried out by the Unit and its partners in 2020 and 2021. It outlines some of the innovative and impactful initiatives, which have raised awareness, engendered greater commitments among political leaders, business, and traditional leaders, and encouraged partnerships, both locally and internationally. The report captures our role in computing Ghana’s SDGs financing gap, championing the sustainable management of the ocean, promoting innovation and entrepreneurship among the youth, reinforcing the nexus between AfCFTA and the SDGs, as well as popularizing the SDGs.
I am grateful to all our partners, sponsors, and staff that have made all this possible. Reflecting on
what we, together with our partners and sponsors, have achieved in these challenging times, we are motivated and hopeful that we will be able to do greater and more impactful things in the years ahead.
Looking ahead, we remain committed to the tenets of the Sustainable Developing Goals and will continue to forge innovative partnerships with businesses, academia and traditional authorities, among others to stimulate urgent action and catalytic investments to accelerate progress towards the global goals.
Dr. Eugene Owusu
Sherpa/Special Advisor to the President on the SDGs
Head of the SDGs Advisory Unit Office of the President, Ghana