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General News of Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Source: GNA

Ghana making progress on several MDGs – MiDA boss

Oyibi (ER), Aug. 2, GNA - Ghana is on course to achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of reducing by half the proportion of the population living in extreme poverty and those without safe drinking water ahead of the 2015 deadline.

The country is also making significant progress in promoting gender equality and women empowerment, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, as well as developing a global partnership for development.

Mr Martin Eson-Benjamin, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) who disclosed this on Monday at Oyibi in the Eastern Region, observed that the country was, however, faced with some challenges that made her to stagger in attaining the child mortality, maternal health and environmental sustainability targets.

He was speaking at the First Joint International Conference organized by Valley View University (VVU), Ghana, and the Babcock University, Nigeria.

Mr Eson-Benjamin referred to a recent report by the National Development Planning Commission that showed Ghana was on course to attain most of the MDGs, and attributed the difficulty in attaining the rest of the goals to inadequate clinics, trained health personnel and the reckless and undisciplined depletion of forest resources.

He said though progress had been chalked by many countries on the MDGs, the issue of sustaining the gains and accelerating efforts towards addressing any emerging issues remained a challenge.

Mr Eson-Benjamin expressed worry over the lack of capacity of African countries to tackle the disparities among geographical areas and socio-economic groups.

“A critical analysis of the 2011 Global Report confirms that despite the progress made so far, many countries are failing to reach the deprived and most vulnerable, the poor and those disadvantaged by virtue of sex, age, ethnicity or disparities,” he said, adding that disparities in progress between urban and rural areas remained worrying.

Mr Eson-Benjamin said his outfit was working through three integrated project activities - agriculture, transportation and rural development - to remove the risk elements, lighten the burden and improve the income and living standards of rural farmers.

He gave the assurance that MiDA would complete all its interventions before February 2012. “The expectation is that once these interventions are in place they should contribute to reducing poverty and improving access to water, sanitation, education, financial services in beneficiary districts.”

Mr Eson-Benjamin called for the strengthening of public-private partnership and the facilitation of regulatory reforms to improve the impacts and to sustain the benefits of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA).

Professor Daniel Buor, Vice Chancellor of VVU, called for proper accountability of the MCA.

He expressed worry that though the African continent was well-resourced, poverty and developmental challenges continued to plague it.

Prof. Buor called for timely and pragmatic measures to catapult Ghana into advanced socio-economic development.

Prof S.A. Adebola, Dean of the School of Management and Social Sciences, Babcock University, called on participants, drawn from the field of academia and research from Ghana and Nigeria, to make meaningful inputs to solve problems of both national and global dimensions.

The conference was on the theme “Millennium Development Goals as Instruments for Development in Africa.”

At the September 2000 Millennium Summit of the United Nations, 189 Heads of State and governments adopted the Millennium Declaration to serve as the UN’s solution for equitable global development.

The declaration delineated eight time-bound and measurable goals and committed both the rich and poor countries to the implementation of a Global Compact to be achieved by 2015.

The development goals are to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability and develop a global partnership for development.

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