The Government of Ghana has held a two-day virtual fair aimed at increasing investments in green enterprise development as a sustainable pathway to climate resilient growth in Ghana.
The event saw high panel discussions on sustainable financing to promote green enterprise development, as well as the transition to a low carbon economy by exploring the opportunities in green jobs investment.
Dubbed the “Accra SDGs Investment Fair 2022,” the event also discussed the opportunities for investors and project developers at local level implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The event held under the theme, “Investments in Green Enterprise Development: The Sustainable Pathway to Climate Resilient Growth” was also used to launch the 2021 SDGs Budget Report.
Speaking on behalf of the finance minister, a Deputy Minister for Finance, John Ampratwum Kumah, reiterated government’s commitment to the SDGs to meet climate action commitments, adding that these could be achieved through empowerment of MSMEs which employ more than 80% of the workforce and generate about 70% of national output.
“We are therefore committed to supporting the development of sustainable MSMEs and the transition of existing MSMEs to more sustainable business models, and the Accra SDGs Investment Fair is one of the ways we seek to do this.”
He was confident that initiatives including the YouStart entrepreneurship programme would provide avenues to promote sustainable enterprises through skills development and investments into enterprises that were demonstrably sustainable.
He said the Government, through the establishment of the Article 6 Office, would develop a regulatory framework to bring together investors and project developers to engage in ventures that will make the private sector earn more in the sale of credits generated via carbon emission reductions while helping government to meet is climate resilient requirements.
Prof Gyan-Baffour, Chairman, National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), in his speech noted that, Government’s commitment to the SDGs would help reduce the high rate of unemployment and regional disparities, create decent jobs particularly for the youth and lower the emission of harmful gases into the environment, thereby, increase Ghana’s drive to achieve its SDGs (Agenda 2030).
Mr. Yofi Grant, CEO of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), also said Ghana had many opportunities in agriculture, energy, water resources and development of smart cities, which could be harnessed through strengthened partnership between the Government, businesses, and research institutions.
Mr. Henry Kokofu, Executive Director, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Genevieve Parker-Twum, Senior Incubation and Acceleration Advisor on the Green Project, Sylvia Sefakor Senu, Economist, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Amma Lartey of Impact Investing Ghana, panelists at the event made submissions to highlight the importance of meeting the SDGs and efforts to meet them.
They underscored the need for Ghana to double collaborative efforts with the private sector to drive more investment into Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to create robust “green enterprises.”
This, they said, would help reduce the high rate of unemployment and regional disparities, create decent jobs particularly for the youth and lower the emission of harmful gases into the environment, thereby, increase Ghana’s drive to achieve its SDGs (Agenda 2030).
The speakers noted that Ghana had many opportunities in agriculture, energy, water resources and development of smart cities, which could be harness through strengthened partnership between the Government, businesses, and research institutions.
This year’s virtual fair was organized in partnership with the SDG Advisory Unit-Office of the President, GIPC, Social Enterprise Ghana and Impact Investing Ghana.
The Virtual Accra SDGs Investment was held at a time that global socio-economic crisis (COVID-19 pandemic and Russian-Ukraine war) had thrown into sharp focus the challenges impeding the implementation of the SDGs.
These happenings had resulted in food, energy, and fiscal crisis across the world, with Ghana not been an exception, forcing Governments to re-strategize and “build back better” to meet the 2030 SDGs deadline.
The Government of Ghana, in recognition of these difficulties has embarked on several initiatives to invest in enterprise development to stimulate new employment and accelerate economic development.
Through the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAP BUSS), the government is cushioning (MSMEs) and positioning them to support sustainable development.