Ghana's Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have lauded the Akufo-Addo government for aligning the 2019 budget to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In a statement issued on Thursday, November 22, 2018, the CSOs platform indicated that the 2019 budget has specifically linked policy and programme interventions to the 17 SDGs.
It said the budget which was presented to Parliament on Thursday, November 15, 2018, by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has also outlined how the various sectoral interventions will contribute to the achievement of the goals.
The minister had indicated during the budget presentation which lasted for more than three hours that “Ghana is the second country (after Mexico) to fully integrate the SDGs framework in the budget to track progress on the SDGs and ensure budget allocations.”
According to the CSOs, “it is worthy to note that the Ministry of Finance plans to continue producing, on an annual basis, an SDGs budget report to show how the country is tracking the financing of the SDGs.”
It added that the first report was produced in 2018, and it provides a methodology and framework that can help to ensure Ghana’s financial priorities are aligned with essential SDG targets in future budgets.
However, while commending government, the CSOs also raised concerns about “the lack of a policy direction in the 2019 budget statement to enforce inclusivity in compliance with the principle of leaving no one behind.”
It stated that even though the 2019 budget statement clearly presents government’s commitment to the SDGs, the budget fails to specifically outline government’s vision for promoting inclusive development, especially for those at risk of marginalization.
It further observed that “the basic principle underlying the implementation of the SDGs is the commitment to leave no one behind. This commitment entails that no goal is considered met unless it benefits all, including women, children, youth, the elderly and persons with disabilities who represent the most impoverished, excluded, disadvantaged and discriminated, and are often marginalised in Ghana.”
According to the statement, “We would like to urge government to develop as part of its commitment to the SDGs, an ‘inclusivity objective’ that clearly itemizes governments’ vision for leaving no one behind.”