The Ghana Civil Society Organisations Platform on Sustainable Development Goals has expressed worry about the low level of public awareness and discussions in the media of the SDGs nationally.
While acknowledging and recognizing the significance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for holistically addressing issues of poverty, inequality and ensuring national development in Ghana, the Platform is of the view that much needs to be done to raise public awareness about the global goals.
“We encourage all stakeholders to make effort to increase public awareness of the SDGs in order to increase citizens’ accountability and monitoring of the implementation of the global goals in Ghana. We encourage the media to significantly increase their coverage of the SDGs in Ghana and align media stories relevant to issues of poverty and development to the associated SDG’s”
The Platform further raises concern about the lack of data on the majority of the SDG indicators and targets particularly disaggregated data on the experiences of persons living with disabilities; which is a major constraint in measuring progress on the implementation of the SDGs.
These issues were contained a communique issued by the Platform at the Annual General Meeting held on Tuesday February 12, 2019 in Accra with over Two Hundred CSOs members from across Ghana in attendance.
“We, Civil Society Organisations working on the SDGs do hereby adopt this communique as follows:
“We reaffirm the importance of coordinating CSOs’ efforts to achieve the SDGs in Ghana in order to avoid duplication of initiatives, share lessons learned and best practices, and strengthen the voice of CSOs across all sectors. To this end, we encourage all CSOs who have not done so already to join the Ghana CSOs Platform by registering on our online database using the link: https://goo.gl/forms/myJ5GFyD1TpycRQB2.
“We applaud the efforts and commitment by government and CSOs to localize the SDGs through the establishment of district CSOs platforms and the engagement of district authorities with CSOs in Ho and Bongo districts respectively.
“We encourage all stakeholders to take the necessary steps to ensure the full and equal participation of people living with disabilities in all events and initiatives relating to the SDGs and particularly call on government to address all barriers relating to the involvement and participation of people living with disabilities on the SDGs.”
The communique stressed the importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships and calls on government and private sectors to continue to collaborate with and engage civil society in all efforts, initiatives and projects to achieve the SDGs in Ghana.
It adds, “We welcome the seats that have been guaranteed for civil society by the Government of Ghana on the implementation and advisory committees for the SDGs, including the High Level Inter-Ministerial Committee (observer status), the SDGs Implementation Coordinating Committee, and the National Technical Committee all hosted by the NDPC, as well as the Ghana Statistical Service Advisory Committee on Data.
“We call on private sector companies to actively work towards the implementation of the SDGs through funding support and ensuring that their own activities reinforce and align with the 17 global goals.
“We urge Government to quickly and efficiently address the lack of data on the majority of the SDGs indicators and targets, and most importantly, take the necessary steps to collect and disseminate data that is fully disaggregated through the National Reporting Platform.
“Finally, we urge Parliament of Ghana to expedite the consideration process and pass a credible Right to Information Bill which will guarantee citizens the information necessary to promote accountability in the achievement of the SDGs,”the communique concludes.