Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ghana to be among 1st African countries to acheive MDG #1

Accra, June 20, GNA – Dr. Daouda Toure, UNDP Resident Representative in Ghana, on Friday noted that Ghana would be among the very first African countries that have achieved the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving poverty.
He, however, pointed out that there were other goals such as high infant mortality, high maternal mortality, among others, which were still high in the country and there was the need to take steps to achieve those targets by 2015. The MDGs were signed by 189 countries in September 2000.
The Millennium Development Goals are a set of objectives set by the United Nations to help all peoples in the world to live with minimum dignity.
Dr. Toure was speaking at the launch of the Global Monitoring Report, 2008 on the theme: “MDGs and the Environment – Agenda for Inclusive and Sustainable Development,” organized by the Christian Council of Ghana in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund, The United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank, Ghana Office.
The programme brought together policy makers, civil society groups and individuals to dialogue about development and its relation to the environment.
Dr. Toure said there was the need for policy makers and advocacy groups to relate the MDGs to the needs and priorities of the local communities, adding, “localize the goals” to suit the needs of the people.
He also noted that Ghana was one of the 10 pilot countries that the World Bank, IMF, African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Union and the UN used to test government structure and to look at areas where there was the need to seal loopholes.
Responding to questions that the level of awareness about the MDGs among the populace was low, Dr Toure said the MDGs was not supposed to be a slogan that people would recite but how they related to them.
He stressed that the MDGs were only a minimal package that the world owed to humanity.
Ms. Punam Chuhan-Pole, Economist at the World Bank, who launched the report, said Ghana was on track to achieve the goals of gender equality and access to water and there was the need for a good investment climate.
She said the world was on track to achieve the poverty reduction and gender parity goals but there were also serious shortfalls in the areas of nutrition, education, health and sanitation goals.
“Africa lags behind on all the MDGs; South Asia on most human development goals,” she said, and expressed hope that most MDGs were still achievable in most countries.
Ms Chuhan-Pole noted that, it was critical that developing countries managed their natural resources well since most of them depended such resources.
She suggested an increase in agricultural production in Africa as a way to achieve growth.
She further pointed out that one-third of the developing world’s population representing about 1.6 billion people did not have access to electricity and noted that even though aid to Africa had risen, it was mostly in the form of debt relief.
“The time to act is now,” she said, and reminded the people that it was only a few years to 2015.
Mrs Bernice Sam, National Programmes Coordinator for Women in Law and Development in Africa, a non-governmental organization of women lawyers, said achieving the MDGs was everybody’s business and called on individuals as well as government officials to make efforts to help achieve the goals by 2015.
Mr Arnold McIntyre, IMF Resident Representative, noted that it was important for countries to understand what international cooperation meant for them.
Professor Kwaku Appiah-Adu, Head of Policy Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation and the Director of Governance Project at the Office of the President, said government was doing all it could to ensure that Ghana achieved the MDGs.
He mentioned energy, water and roads as the current government priority areas and urged developed partners to combine their poverty reduction programmes in Africa with growth-related activities where the country’s human resource base would grow.
Prof. Appiah-Adu called on stakeholders to join in the campaign to achieve the MDGs and said civil society groups could challenge the government of strategies to help facilitate the achievement of MDGs.

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Nice to see African countries trying their level best in achieving the MDG's