Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia unveiled two funds geared towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the Jubilee House in Accra yesterday.
The SDG Green Fund and the SDG Delivery Fund are both aimed at pooling five per cent of corporate entities’ social responsibility funds which will be mobilised and managed by the private sector, with government support.
The GH¢1-billion Green Fund is geared towards the provision of clean and renewable energy for use by industry, while the SDG Delivery Fund will be channeled into a pool to fund climate smart activities.
Unveiling the funds on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at an event attended by more than 40 chief executive officers (CEOs), Dr Bawumia said following an initial meeting of CEOs on the SDGs, an advisory group was formed whose members met regularly.
“In the first instance, the advisory group proposed and committed itself to the establishment of an SDG Delivery Fund and a Green Fund as tangible vehicles to complement government’s efforts in the implementation of the SDGs in the country,” he said.
According to the Vice-President, the successful implementation of the SDGs would enable Ghanaians to enjoy good health, quality education, decent work, peace and justice, adding: “This is not idealism but aspirations that are achievable.”
He indicated that after 60 years of independence and 25 years of stable democracy, it was unacceptable that people continued to suffer extreme forms of poverty and hunger, death from preventable diseases and inequalities and injustices.
He said it was for that reason that the President attached importance to the SDGs and also cherished the work of the captains of industry to ensure their successful implementation.
Vice-President Bawumia said the quality of partnership that existed between the government and the private sector on the SDGs was being recognised globally as an example of best practice.
He cited the recent participation of Ghana in a high-level political forum in New York where the Managing Director of Stanbic Bank, Mr Alhassan Andani, and the External Affairs Director of Vodafone Ghana, Mr Gayheart Mensah, did the country proud.
“I am also told that at the request of the Ugandan Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, Uganda has reached out to the SDG Advisory Unit in the Office of the President to ask for documentation on the CEOs Advisory Group and lessons from the various breakfast meetings to enable Uganda to replicate it in that country,” Dr Bawumia added.
“President Akufo-Addo is fully convinced that those two funds could be a game changer in the country’s quest to achieve the SDGs and, therefore, I urge all of you and the private sector at large to be committed and contribute substantially to the two funds,” he said.
The Chairman of the CEOs Advisory Group, Mr Alhassan Andani, said the private sector, in collaboration with the government, would select activities that the SDG Delivery Fund would be applied to.
For his part, the CEO of Unilever Ghana, Mrs Gladys Amoah, who is also a member of the advisory group, said the Green Fund, which will be secured within five years, would offer capital to Ghanaians to venture into the provision of green energy to save the environment from the devastating effects of carbon dioxide emissions.