Ghana: Presidential Advisor On SDG Woos Private Sector to Achieve Targets

8 September 2023

The Presidential Advisor on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Dr Eugene Owusu, has appealed to the private sector to explore partnership with government to help attain the goals as scheduled.

According to him, the SDGs were everybody's business and businesses, especially the private sector must recognise that they do have a central role to play in achieving these goals.

Dr Antwi made the call at the media launch of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)/Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) Institute and the 10th anniversary celebration of CSR Institute in Accra yesterday.

Dr Owusu said even though the implementation of the SDGs had crossed mid-point, the story in terms of successes chalked "was not a sweet one."

"Recent global developments, notably COVID-19 and indeed the contemporary issues we have with the Russian Ukraine conflict has posed significant challenges for the achievements of the SDGs all over the world," he said.

Despite these challenges, Dr Owusu said the goals of the SDGs were more relevant today than ever before, largely because the SDGs provided a blueprint for addressing the challenges as existed now.

He explained that significantly the SDGs constituted a useful framework for achieving the transformation that was passionately desired to put Ghana on the path of inclusive, resilient and sustainable pathways.

"One good news is that businesses are aligning their strategies and aspirations with the universal principles on the environment, human rights, anti-corruption and on social justice among others and many businesses are increasingly embracing good environment, social and governance practices as the interest of investors and other corporate shareholders in ESG matters soaring in recent years," he added.

Dr Owusu who is also the Presidential Advisor on ESG said the current economic, environmental and social justice crisis had intensified making it imperative for businesses to be more socially and environmentally responsible.

"One thing that is clear is that for businesses to prosper over time, they must not only deliver financial performance but must also show how they make positive contributions to society and derive benefits for all stakeholders including, shareholders, their employees, their customers and indeed the communities in which they do operate," he stressed.

He noted that issues such as carbon footprints climate change, pay equity health and safety, corporate board decisions and addressing corruption were now a key part for business sustainability.

"We have often stated that the SDGs are everybody's business and businesses do have a central role to play in achieving the SDGs. I am a firm believer in spite of current happenings of the SDGs," he added.

On his part, the founder of CSR/EDG Institute, Professor Wayne Dune said one of the things that required on the business side was social and sustainability issues.

He said it was important to drive home the fact that all of the things businesses do were directly connected to the SDGs.

Professor Dune said ESG and the SDGs fit perfectly together and there was need for business, government and other stakeholders to talk among themselves the more, adding that "what we are not doing is that we are not talking to ourselves enough."

He said businesses were more often bogged down with preparing their ESG reports however, issues of sustainability also included telling the stories.

"We need to be telling more stories and I hope all of you have a chance to do some more networking," he said.

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