President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called for urgent and concerted efforts towards the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in order for Africa to effectively tackle poverty.
Speaking at a round-table event in Accra on the SDGs on Monday, Nana Addo said that a lot of work needs to be done by all players on the continent to ensure the swift implementation of the SDGs, as this would translate into an improvement in the standard of living of all Africans.
“If we are to succeed in our noble ambition to transform our continent, and pull masses of our people out of poverty and deprivation, Africa must pursue the implementation of the SDGs with a strong sense of urgency, and an unparalleled commitment to act now,” the President said.
“We do not have the luxury of time when it comes to the pressing challenges of poverty, climate change, youth unemployment and the myriad of issues that confront the continent.”
‘Selfless leadership needed’
According to President Akufo-Addo, in order for Africa to overcome the numerous challenges that plague the continent, a change in the style of leadership is required.
The President expressed his optimism that the continent can attain the level of development that it is striving for, given the resources and expertise at its disposal.
He, however, insisted that for this to be achieved, more needed to be done to empower women and the private sector to push the development agenda of the continent.
“The challenge in achieving the SDGs is indeed significant but I have ample cause for optimism. Africa has the talent, knowledge and resources to transition from poverty to prosperity. But for this to happen, it takes a different kind of leadership, one that is selfless and empowering. It will take smart and progressive policies that are enablers to growth and transformation,” he said.
“It will take innovative approaches to financing our development. It will take smart strategic partnerships. It will take fully unleashing the potential of the domestic private sector. It will take fully leveraging innovation and making it the currency of our development. And most importantly it will take the empowerment of Africa’s women. We must see the SGDs truly as an investment in our people to build better lives. because no group of persons has more to gain from the successful implementation of the SDGs than the African people,” the President added.
The event in Accra was also attended by the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, as well as chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki.
Also present was Jeffrey Sachs of the Earth Institution at Columbia University and other notable international dignitaries.