Affiliated Organization : Republic of Ghana
Publication Type : Report
Publication Date : June 2019
“Sustainability” in the context of Ghana’s development entails integrating the three pillars of sustainability namely the socio-cultural, economic, and natural resources into policies, plans and programmes. In addition, Ghana has identified institutional development as the fourth pillar for sustainability in recognition of the important role strong and efficient institutions play in delivering sustainable development outcomes (Box 1.1). These four pillars serve as the anchor for development planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation at all levels. Ghana has found the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Tools1 to be an important instrument for mainstreaming sustainability which provides useful insights and lessons for policy coherence and synergies.
Ghana is addressing climate change issues and environmental sustainability through the National Climate Change Policy (NCCP), Ghana National Climate Change Master Plan Action Programmes for Implementation: 2015–2020, and its Nationally Determined Contributions. Other relevant sectoral policies and strategies are among the policy objectives of the Agenda for Jobs (2018-2021). These focus on tackling unsustainable mining, deforestation, water and management of land. There has also been a focus on assisting local authorities to mainstream green economy in local development plans, and developing capacity to compute the indicator values based on the SDGs metadata requirements.
In the medium-term national development policy framework – Agenda for Jobs (2018-2021) – the Social Development focus area contains measures to ensure fair and balanced allocation of national resources across ecological zones, gender, income and socio-economic groups, including PWDs, and to empower vulnerable people to access basic necessities of life. Its specific strategies include investment in human capital, health, social protection, the promotion of viable and sustainable economic livelihood schemes for vulnerable people and persons with disabilities. Government’s flagship programmes such as Planting for Food and Jobs and One district, one factory aim to promote agriculture and industrial development while creating job opportunities at the local level. All of these are important given the recent slowdown in the pace of poverty reduction and the rise in spatial disparities. The Agenda for Jobs (2018-2021) also includes a focus on strengthening the capacity of oversight institutions regarding poverty reduction.
Ghana is a State Party to the core international human rights instruments, and subscribes to the DRTD that grounds the SDGs. Specifically, Chapters 5 and 6 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana articulate the safeguards for promoting and protecting human rights, as well as engendering sustainable development. To ensure the promotion and protection of human rights at national level, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) was established in 1993 in accordance with the Principles Relating to National Human Rights Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (the Paris Principles). CHRAJ is constitutionally empowered to promote and protect all human rights in Ghana. CHRAJ holds “A” status according to the ratings of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were seen in some quarters as not human rights-based and progress was measured at national level, therefore failing to track progress systematically at sub- national level and among different population groups. The SDGs, on the other hand, mainstream rights-based principles premised on access to information, accountability, transparency, participation, inclusiveness and non-discrimination.
Domestic Resource Mobilisation
To increase domestic revenue mobilisation, the government is strengthening revenue institutions and administration; reviewing the tax exemptions regime; diversifying sources of resource mobilisation; and reviewing existing legislation and administrative instructions regarding non-tax revenue and internally generated funds. Government is also implementing reforms aimed at broadening the tax base, while protecting low-income earners and the poor. The implementation of the National Identification Scheme, National Digital Addressing System, Tax Identification Number System, and the Presumptive Tax System, among other measures, is expected to significantly improve the environment for mobilisation of domestic resources. The Earmarked Funds Capping and Realignment Act, 2017 (Act 497) in turn limits all allotted funds to 25 percent of tax revenues in order to free resources for priority programmes.
Government has signed onto the “Agreement for a Strategic Partnership”, which is a new framework for economic cooperation among countries. It includes a commitment to develop solutions which would ensure resilience of commodities like cocoa to price volatility in the global market. Regulatory frameworks such as the Public-Private-Partnership Policy are also serving as a means to facilitate private investment in the country.
Enabling Environment for Domestic and International Private Business and Finance
Government commitment to private sector partnerships to accelerate economic growth and prosperity is operationalised through initiatives such as the One district, one factory programme, to facilitate decentralisation of business activities. Government is also seeking to promote entrepreneurship through the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP), which will support new start-ups, with a focus on business development services, business incubators, and funding, especially for the youth. Other initiatives already underway include setting up of the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund and the Youth Enterprise Support (YES) as well as revamping the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) programme.
In August 2018, the President launched an Africa-wide competition dubbed “Africa Innovates for the SDGs” to identify and reward innovative actions and solutions to SDGs challenges across the continent. The goal of the competition is to support exceptional scalable early-stage innovations that are solving key challenges linked to the SDGs. The competition has drawn over 1,300 applications from all over Africa, showcasing innovations in diverse areas. Final winners will be announced in the second quarter of 2019 and the first five winners will be awarded with a cash prize of USD10,000. In addition to this, the winners, together with all finalists, will be put through incubation hubs to help further develop the innovations for scalability.
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