Covid-19: Economic recovery & attainment of SDGs possible – Ofori-Atta

Ghana’s Minister for Finance Ken Ofori Atta says post-Covid-19 economic recovery and attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are possible with digitisation, tectonic shift in global financial architecture, increase in private capital and innovations in labour and education.

In addition, he reiterated African Finance Ministers’ call for debt standstill and debt relief to fragile countries saying, “We urgently need liquidity and debt sustainability solutions in order to truly recover from this pandemic.”

Mr Ofori-Atta said these in a speech read on his behalf by Charles Adu Boahen, a Deputy Minister for Finance, at the opening of the Virtual 2020 Accra Sustainable Development Goals Investment Fair under the theme: ‘Regaining momentum in the SDGs Implementation during and post Covid-19’.

He said the world urgently needed a recovery plan that ensured the development of a more robust global institutions and systems capable of withstanding such apocalyptic events such as the current pandemic.

The Minister, while noting the negative impact of Covid-19 on the SDGs, particularly, on education, poverty, hunger, quality education and decent economic growth, also stressed the importance of partnership in the recovery efforts and partnership between the developed and developing world in the implementation of the sustainable development goals.

“Individual countries have had varying levels of success and resilience with their Covid-19 response based on the different measures and the timelines for intervention but our recovery programmes need to be better coordinated, less nationalistic and more global in nature,” he said.

The 2020 Virtual Accra SDGs Investment Fair is to provide a platform to explore new opportunities within the new normal, identify innovative ways to access financial resources during the Covid-19 pandemic and recovery, share experiences relating to individual and corporate adaptability in the wake of Covid-19 and rebuilding momentum for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

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The Minister noted that Ghana’s economy like most other countries has been heavily impacted by the pandemic, which invariably also impacted on the gains made in the implementation of the SDGs.

This, notwithstanding, he disclosed that Government has instituted a GH¢100 billion “Covid-19 Alleviation and Revitalisation Enterprise Support” (CARES) programme to ensure rapid post-Covid economic recovery and for rapid development.

Other speakers at the opening ceremony included Prof. George Gyan Baffour, Minister for Planning, and Mr. Charles Abani, UN Resident Coordinator to Ghana.

The Accra SDGs Investment Fair brought together high-level government Officials, community facilitators, investors, civil society organisations, entrepreneurs, knowledge institutions and other stakeholders to help develop sustainable network for post-COVID-19 strategies that will support Government’s vision of a Ghana beyond Aid.

Topics under discussion include ‘The Path from Response to Recovery and Resilience, Socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on the SDGs, A post-COVID-19 vision of sustainable enterprises, Financing for Development and the New Normal: Innovations in Education.”