Ghana has domesticated the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the overall national development plan of Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA II - 2014-2017) which is the first step towards localising the SDGs.
Nana Oye Lithur, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, said this at a Gender forum organised alongside the United Nations Summit in New York on; “How to make the SDGs matter most for women and girls”.
Other panelists include: Crown Princess Mary of Denmark; Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under Secretary-General and Director of UN Women; and Kristian Jensen, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark.
Nana Oye Lithur said the GSGDA II guided the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the various sector policies and operational plans for all Ministries, Departments and Agencies in Ghana.
A comprehensive National Monitoring and Evaluation Plan is being developed under the GSGDA II. This builds upon the previous National Monitoring & Evaluation Plan implemented under GSGDA I.
Nana Oye Lithur said the Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Directorates of the various ministries, together with the Regional and District Planning and Coordination Units, both of which were statutory bodies, would also play a key role in ensuring the implementation of the SDGs at the local level.
She said the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) had overall responsibility for co-ordinating the implementation of the GSGDA II and other national development programmes.
With specific regard to SDG 5 on gender equality and women’s empowerment, the Gender Ministry would harness its inter-sectorial working structures with stakeholder ministries including Education, Health, Attorney-General’s Department and Ministry of Justice.
Nana Oye Lithur said some potential challenges which could arise in the implementation of the SDGs were low level of knowledge among key national stakeholders and effective mainstreaming and monitoring of the SDGs in national policy and programme frameworks.
She said the SDGs were emerging in national discourse on the post-2015 agenda with significant portions of the body politic and institutional establishment in the country still not fully appraised by the SDGs.
In Ghana, the continued engagement with key stakeholders on the SDGs by the NDPC in partnership with the UNDP on the post-2015 development agenda gives us added motivation to continue with awareness-raising and consultation on the SDGs.
It will be recalled that Ghana was selected as one of the 50 countries across the world to hold national consultations on the post-2015 agenda from 2012 to 2013.
She said the issues raised in the consultations in Ghana covered employment inequalities, environmental sustainability, food security, strengthened governance, population dynamics, health, education and support systems for persons with disabilities. “It is noteworthy that these issues have been captured in the 17 SDGs we have today”.