Ghana has been commended for its efforts in ensuring that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are working.
Out of 193 countries that signed to implement the SDGs, only about 50 countries, including Ghana, are said to have a population with a high level of knowledge on what the goals entail and seek to achieve.
She said Ghana was one of few countries working to ensure that the SDGs worked to better the life of their people.
Ambassador Williams was in the country to participate in the 2017 World Bank Development Finance Forum that was held in Accra.
The two-day forum was opened by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The meeting deliberated on the successes and challenges of mobilising transformational private sector investment for development goals in Africa, as well as opening opportunities for public and private sectors to develop market-building alliances in Africa.According to Ambassador Williams, “there is low level of knowledge on the SDGs in many countries, unlike Ghana whose knowledge level is high and has a pool of expertise on the subject.”
According to Ambassador Williams, “there is low level of knowledge on the SDGs in many countries, unlike Ghana whose knowledge level is high and has a pool of expertise on the subject.”
The SDGs, known officially as ‘Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, is a set of 17 “Global Goals” with 169 targets among them and is spearheaded by the United Nations (UN) as a universal call to action to end poverty. Other aims include initiatives to protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
Ambassador Williams said with little effort Ghana could easily emerge a champion in the implementation of the SDGs due to the commitment on the part of the government to ensure that the goals worked.
She stated that the major hurdle for most countries regarding the implementation of the SDGs was funding but that had also been addressed in Goal 17, which deals with public-private partnership in financing the goals.
Many developing countries, she said, were constantly seeking funding and the SDGs required about five to seven trillion dollars a year to implement across the world.
She said a part of the money was expected to come from private-sector investments and not grants so that constant, new and sustainable funding through public-private investments would be generated.
According to her, the world, in general, had enough money to finance the SDGs but the problem was with unequal distribution of wealth.
Ambassador Williams hinted that the UN was going to hold a pilot meeting this month in New York to bring together financiers to support the implementation of the SDGs.
She said what most developing and small countries needed to do at the moment was to pool their financing since many of them had small resource bases.
She called for regional integration, saying it is an important political mechanism for financing and sustenance of funds.
She added that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) formed the majority of businesses in those countries, so there was the need to finance them in a sustainable manner that would ensure large-scale employment.
She called for indigenes to be educated and for SMEs to take advantage of the SDGs through the formation of cooperatives.
Ambassador Williams said there was more optimism with the SDGs than the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which ended in 2015 and did not have anything to build upon.
She stated that the SDGs were being built currently on the successes and failures of the MDGs.
She indicated that the SDGs were also more interrelated and indivisible as each depended on the other and, therefore, there was an assurance that they would achieve greater successes.
Furthermore, Ambassador Williams said the SDGs were more decentralised, unlike the MDGs which were government-led.