The first Accra Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Investment Fair was held at the Kempinski Hotel on 5th December, 2018 with a call for effective collaboration between government and the private sector to ensure that the agreed targets and indicators of the SDGs were achieved as well as identify the financial gaps acting as impediments.
The SDGs Investment Fair, a new vibrant market place, where business, investors and other support systems meet to find solutions to current and future challenges, explore opportunities for private sector collaboration in government pipeline projects as well as kick-start entrepreneurial initiatives especially among youth and women.
The Fair which was organized by the Ministry of Finance and the Ghana Investment Promotions Centre in collaboration with the SDG Advisory Unit at the Presidency, brought together stakeholders made up of civil society organizations, politicians, entrepreneurs, investors, technocrats, students and the media.
In his televised address to delegates, the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo stated that in the ever complex and independent world we live in today, there was the need for bold, ambitious, and smart policies and programmes to end poverty, to eradicate hunger, to fight inequality and the SDGs presented us with such an opportunity.
The President who is also the co-Chair of the UN Secretary General’s Eminent Group of Advocates for the SDGs, hinted of five prioritized key areas in seeking to bring momentum to bear on the implementation of the SDGs and they included; central role of the private sector; the critical role of data and innovation; the need to fully unleash the potential of women and the youth; the policy imperatives necessary to underpin the Agenda ; and lastly but most importantly, identifying and mobilizing innovative financing to help to realize the goals.
“We need to intensity domestic resource mobilization and scale up innovative financing initiatives to close the financing and implementation of the Agenda” the President noted.
The Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta whose speech was also televised, revealed that up until now, financing the SDGs had been largely the responsibly of the government with significant assistance from local and foreign development partners.
He noted that government recognized the need to partner with the private sector in order to achieve the set targets as much of the world ‘wealth was currently in the hands of private enterprise and individuals.
To show his Ministry ‘commitment towards the realization of SDGs’, the Finance Minister disclosed that effective structures had been put in place to ensure efficient use of resource by promoting accountably among all Ministries, Department and Agencies.
The Minister for Planning, Prof. George Gyan Baffour reiterated the need for the private sector to find innovative ways of supporting government to achieve its goals.
“Without the support of the private sector, government efforts will yield little results” the Hon.Minister hinted.
From the desk of the SDGs Advisory Unit, it was gathered that financing was one of the biggest challenges to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda as the quantum of money required to implement this ambitious Agenda required that we devised strategic plan that could draw the private sector to own and become implementing partners to help raise the needed capital.
At the panel discussion session on the business opportunity in SDGs Investments, Yofi Grant, CEO, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Estelle Akofio Sowah, Country Manager, Csquared, Nelson Boateng, Founder/CEO, Nelplash Ghana, Hamdiya Ismaila, Ghana Venture Capital Fund, Christine Evans-Klock, Resident Representative, UN and Amit Bhatia CEO, Global Steering Group for Impact Investment took turns to share brilliant ideas on green growth and social change.