Ghana’s progress in attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been mixed, the 2015 Ghana Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Report has indicated.

According to the Report, which was launched in Accra on Tuesday, targets such as halving extreme poverty (MDG 1 A), halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water (MDG 7B), achieving universal primary education (MDG 2 A) and achieving gender parity in primary school (MDG 3) have been met while substantial progress has been recorded in reducing the prevalence of Acquired Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)  (MDG 6C), access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) (MDG 8F) and reducing the proportion of people suffering from hunger.

However, the Report notes, progress has been slow on the achievement of full and productive employment (MDG 1B), equal share of women in non-agriculture wage employment and women’s involvement in governance (MDG 3), reducing under-five and child mortality (MDG 4), reducing maternal mortality (MDG 5) and reversing environmental resource loss and improving sanitation.

The Report notes also that the impressive growth performance of Ghana over the years, the growing role of social sector programmes, including  the National Health Insurance Scheme, as well as critical investments in physical and social infrastructure, have contributed considerably in ensuring the advances made in reducing poverty and achieving better human development outcomes.

Giving an overview of the Report, the author ofthe Report, Dr William Baah-Boateng of the  University of Ghana, said the Report was a fair assessment of Ghana’s performance in the implementation of the MDGs, adding that the lessons learnt in the implementation of the MDGs should be a guide in the implementation of the next development agenda which was soon to be adopted.

Dr Eric Osei-Asibey, also of the University of Ghana, who reviewed the Report, noted that even though Ghana’s performance was generally satisfactory, it was not without shortcomings which, he said, were reflected in the widening of income and social inequalities, very low productivity in agriculture and the informal sectors, while the benefits of growth were not evenly distributed.

In her remarks, Ms Christine Evans-Klock, United Nations (UN) Resident Co-ordinator and Resident Representative, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), described the MDGs as the most successful anti-poverty movement in world history.

Ms Evans-Klock said the launch of the Ghana Report provided an opportunity to take stock, draw lessons, celebrate achievements and recommit to the unfinished business of the MDGs, as Ghana joined other nations to adopt Agenda 2030— the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

She said the UN system was proud to acknowledge and celebrate Ghana’s efforts in meeting the target of reducing extreme poverty significantly ahead of the 2015 deadline and stressed the need to continue to work together to integrate the new global development agenda into the implementation and accomplishments of the first 15 years of Ghana’s proposed 40-year Development Plan.

In a welcome address, Dr Nii Moi Thompson, Director-General, National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), stressed the need to sustain the gains made in the implementation of the MDGs, adding that the new development agenda  as well as other development agenda would be aligned with Ghana’s 40-year Development Plan, which was in the offing.
The Chairperson for the occasion and Vice Chairperson of NDPC, Dr Esther Ofei-Aboagye, reiterated the need to recommit to the unfinished business of the MDGs.
Dr  Ofei-Aboagye said conflict in human development, slum development  and relevant data, climate change and its effects and financing for development were issues of critical development concern that  NDPC would address.

The MDGs emanated from the Millennium Declaration adopted by world leaders at the Millennium Summit of the UN in 2000.

The Declaration captures the aspirations of the international community in terms of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; achieving universal primary education; promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment; reducing child mortality and improving maternal health; combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability; and developing a global partnership for development.

Ghana committed to the tenets of the MDGs in September 2001 and reported on progress towards the attainment of the goals since 2002 in Annual Progress Reports on the implementation of national development policy frameworks.

Special MDG Reports have also been prepared biennially by Ghana to examine trends and to assess the supporting environment and resources needed to attain the goals.
The 2015 Ghana MDGs Report, therefore, assesses Ghana’s progress as of 2014— and out of the 21 targets and 60 official indicators adopted globally for monitoring the MDGs, Ghana adopted a more nationally-relevant set of 17 targets and 36 indicators.

The launch of the Report was collaboration between the NDPC and the UN System.

Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)