Progress Ghana launches final MDGs report

Dr Esther Ofei-Aboagye, Vice Chairperson, National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), said lessons learnt in the implementation of the MDGs would serve as the basis for the implementation of the SDGs.

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Ghana launches final MDGs report

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Ghana has formally launched the final Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) report in Accra on Tuesday.

In line with the six previous biennial reports, the 2015 MDGs report examines progress made since 2000 towards all the goals and targets, and draws some lessons from the implementation and monitoring of the MDGs.

The 97-page report dubbed: “Ghana Millennium Development Goals 2015 Report” assesses Ghana’s progress as of 2014.

It is a forerunner to the adoption and implementation of the next global development agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) yet to be launched by United Nations in New York later this month.

Performing the launch in Accra, Dr Esther Ofei-Aboagye, Vice Chairperson, National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), said lessons learnt in the implementation of the MDGs would serve as the basis for the implementation of the SDGs.

She called for the localization of the SDGs from the national to sub-national levels.

According to the report, out of the 21 targets and 60 official indicators adopted globally for monitoring the MDGs, Ghana has, however, adopted a more nationally relevant set of 17 targets and 36 indicators.

The report observes that Ghana’s progress has been mixed; targets such as halving extreme poverty (MDG1A), halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water (MDG7B), achieving universal primary education (MDG 2A) and gender parity in primary school (MDG 3) have been attained.

It said substantial progress has also been made in reducing HIV prevalence (MDG 6C), access to ICT (MDG 8F) and reducing the proportion of people suffering from hunger.

However, only slow progress has been made on 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), reversing environmental resource loss and improving sanitation (MDG 7).

Dr Nii Moi Thompson, the Director-General, NDPC, attributed the impressive growth of Ghana over the past years and the improvement in social protection programmes to the progress made towards achieving the MDGs.

“As we enter the SDGs period, we are confronted with the unfinished business of some MDGs. The good news is that the MDGs have dovetailed into the SDGs. Some targets are now goals in the SDGs. This indicates that the unfinished business of the MDGs will be addressed in the context of the SDGs,” the Director-General stated.

“One of the main lessons of the MDGs is that implementation and monitoring should be localized. This will ensure stronger ownership and better prospects for attaining the SDGs in record time,” he added.

Dr Christine Evans-Klock, UN Resident Coordinator, in her remarks said it was important to begin by recognizing that the MDGs had been the most successful anti-poverty movement in history.

She said: “They proved that setting goals and sticking to them could lift millions of people out of poverty, empower women and girls, and improve health and well-being. They decreased misery and made it possible for millions to lead better lives.”

Dr Evans-Klock said the launch was an opportunity to take stock, draw lessons, and celebrate achievements and recommit to tackle the unfinished business of the MDGs, as Ghana joins with other nations later this week to adopt the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

“We are proud to celebrate Ghana’s achievement of halving poverty ahead of time,” she noted.

She urged the government to take a critical look at environmental conditions because the nation is particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change.

Also key economic sectors such as agriculture, forestry and energy production were sensitive to rising temperatures, changing rain patterns and the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, he said.

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