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Business News of Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Source: goldstreetbusiness.com

Ghana to offer US$450 billion in SDG investment opportunities - Akufo-Addo

President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced that over the next 10 years the country will offer investment opportunities to the local and international investment communities to the tune of US$450 billion.

He made the declaration to an audience of global CEOs on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, when he launched the Ghana Financing Roadmap for the realization of the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Ghana is a prime, ripe destination for doing business” asserted the President. “We are ranked as the most stable political environment in West Africa, and the best place to do business in the Region. We have established strong democratic institutions and systems to ensure good governance and the rule of law in our country. And we are blessed to have an entrepreneurial and dynamic youth population, who are very savvy with technology and innovation,” he said.

With Ghana’s Financing Roadmap estimating a financing gap of some US$450 billion over the next decade to 2030, the President has stressed that this is nearly US$450 billion business and investment opportunity for the private sector.

He has thus extended an invitation to the private sector, domestic and foreign, to take full advantage of the huge SDG-related business opportunities that currently exist in Ghana, in the areas of infrastructural development, agriculture, industry, energy, health, communications, education and water and sanitation.

He indicated to the CEOs gathered that the Ministry of Finance is preparing a pipeline of bankable SDGs initiatives which will form the basis for a catalogue of well-prepared, commercially attractive projects.

Work, he added is also ongoing to develop an SDGs Investor Platform, that will provide market intelligence on investment opportunities in the country and related impact data to identify and increase SDGs-aligned investments.

“One thing that is clear is that the pandemic has not only heightened our challenges, but it has also created new ones and exacerbated the financing gap that we face in the implementation of the SDGs,” he said.

The President continued, “And, it is, further, abundantly clear to me that, if we are going to be successful in our endeavour, the key considerations will be the scope, scale and quality of partnerships that we establish with the private sector, and how smart and innovative we are in mobilizing financing and private investments to support the implementation of the Goals”

To this end, President Akufo-Addo reiterated his determination to enhance government’s partnership with the private sector to unlock innovative and sustainable financing to bridge the SDGs financing gap, which has been identified in Ghana’s Financing Roadmap, which he has launched.

The Country Financing Roadmap (CFR) has been drawn up by the Government of Ghana, in partnership with the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Investment Partnership (SDIP). It is a country-led initiative to formulate an action plan to unlock greater financing towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through public-private collaboration.

This government-led initiative serves to quantify the financing gap, identifying and developing strategies to bridge the gap for immediate and longer-term national development priorities in line with the SDGs, by formulating joint action plans to attract greater investment.

The aim is to catalyze private financing for SDGs at scale while improving the long-term competitiveness of the country.

The CFR’s purpose is: –To serve as an impartial platform, raising awareness of the conditions needed to unlock greater sustainable financing; To stimulate dialogue on regional and thematic financing agendas for greater impact; To create alignment among a diverse set of players and reduce inefficiencies for a more supportive ecosystem to mobilize financing towards meeting national sustainable development priorities; To inspire concrete action and bring forward new sources of capital to the sustainable financing agenda

The value proposition of the CFR is flexibility and adaptability to prioritize country needs and leadership to facilitate greater private-sector perspectives in shaping national development priority financing discussions and solutions; Generate a multiplier effect across existing initiatives under a common agenda by fostering synergies across different sectors and types of stakeholders (public, private, domestic and foreign); and to Create opportunities for replication across other countries, regions and markets.

“Against the backdrop of the huge financing gap, perhaps more than ever, we need a stronger, mutually beneficial partnership with the private sector. This is because it is you, in the private sector, who generate the wealth, which provides the means for our economic and social investments,” President Akufo-Addo asserted while launching Ghana’s CFR.

Already the President Akufo-Addo administration has begun implementation of its ambitious GHc100 billion Ghana COVID 19 Alleviation and Recovery of Enterprises Support (Ghana CARES) programme.

The three-year programme aims to attract GHc70 billion in private investment capital to add on to GHc30 billion in public spending.

The strategy is to leverage on private capital to boost economic growth as government itself is constrained by the urgent need for fiscal consolidation in the face of an inordinate fiscal deficit and consequent increase in the public debt beyond the generally accepted public debt sustainability threshold of 70 percent of Gross Domestic Product.

But the CFR is a much bigger, much more ambitious initiative, effectively serving as a fully-fledged national development plan complete with its financing needs and how they are to be met.

The process for assessing the implementation of programmes aimed at achieving the SDGs has shown clearly the size of the financing gap.

Total funds budgeted for the implementation of the SDGs in 2019 was GH¢ 51 billion (US$9.3 billion), representing 73% of total government expenditure The US$9.3 billion budgeted for the SDGs by the Government of Ghana and other public domestic sources represented around 92% of the total funding for SDGs in Ghana in 2019.In terms of the SDG cost and financing gap.

The total cumulative 10-year cost from 2021 to 2030 of achieving the SDGs is estimated to be $522.3 billion, averaging around $52.2 billion per year and the total cumulative 10-year SDG financing gap is estimated to be $431.6 billion.

For 2021 alone, this gap is around $43 billion. The SDG cost and additional financing needed to achieve the SDGs by 2030 were estimated by the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana, with the support of the Ministry of Planning (in 2020), the SDG Advisory Unit, Office of the President, UNDP and KPMG.

As the largest financier of the SDGs, the Government of Ghana cannot meet this gap alone. It is therefore taking proactive steps to address the SDG financing gap, including undertaking this CFR initiative.

“We are determined to build a prosperous nation, and, as we seek to do so, we will not relent in our commitment to fiscal discipline, our pledge to dismantling any obstacles to private investment, our determination to ensuring a progressive investor-friendly business landscape, our resolve to enhancing social investments, and, critically, our vision of building a Ghana Beyond Aid, with the private sector at the fulcrum,” the President asserted.

President Akufo-Addo reinforced the commitment of government to join “hands with all of you to forge strong and beneficial partnerships, leveraging our relative strengths, and mobilizing the financing needed to address the critical development challenges that our country and, indeed, humanity and our planet face. And, in so doing, we shall ensure that we leave no one behind”.

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