Ghanaian civil society organisation have been asked to assist government in raising awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure that its targets are achieved by 2030.
Madam Gifty Bletpe, Assistant Country Director at Care International in Ghana acknowledged the critical role of civil society in achieving the SDGs targets.
Madam Bletpe, noted, “As civil society, we need to play a critical role in the SDGs agenda so that we can hold government accountable.”
She added, “Civil society plays a critical role as agents of change, so we have to be the voice of the marginalized. Let’s align ourselves with the framework of the SDGs”.
The deputy Country Director made the call at the general meeting for the Civil Society Platform on the Sustainable Development Goals in Accra last week. The meeting was meant to update platform members and stakeholders on ongoing SDG processes in Ghana and to identify challenges to inform the direction of the Platform.
The Platform, Madam Bletpe said, has made significant progress since it was established in October 2015 and there are big plans ahead. Currently it has a membership base of more than 125 civil society actors from all parts of Ghana and has been deeply involved in national SDG processes.
She explained that at the national level, there has also been significant progress in incorporating the SDGs in development planning and data collection. In addition, she said the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), has made important first steps in ensuring a more open and inclusive data environment in Ghana, with focus on timely and reliable data. The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) is also integrating the goals into the future planned national development plans.
On her part, the co- Chairperson of the platform, Madam Joyce Lanyor encouraged participants to own and promote SDGs as the targets are all encompassing and points to certain critical areas that are needed to develop this country.
The SDGs are an inter-governmentally agreed set of targets relating to international development. They follow on from the Millennium Develop-ment Goals and build on the sustainable development agenda that was finalised by member states during the Rio +20 Summit.
The SDGs contain 17 goals with 169 targets covering a broad range of sustainable development issues. These included ending poverty and hunger, improving and education, making cities more sustainable, combating climate change, and protecting oceans and forests.