Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Monday said Ghana needed 600 million dollars to achieve 100 percent electricity coverage across the country from the current 85 percent.
He said the Government had put in place measures to enable it to achieve this goal within the next three years, which would facilitate its job creation and industrial agenda and ensure prosperity for all Ghanaians.
He said infrastructure development was the building block that would propel the country’s socio-economic development, which was in tandem with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Vice President Bawumia said this during a plenary session on the role of the private sector towards the implementation of the SDGs at the African Roundtable Discussion in Accra on Tuesday.
Other panel members who took part in the discussion were; Gunnar Andreas-Holm, the Norwegian Ambassador to Ghana, Nana Osei Bonsu, the Chief Executive Officer of the Private Enterprises Federation, and Ms Razia Khan, the Chief Economist for Africa, Standard Chartered Bank, London.
The discussion was moderated by Ruby Sandhu-Rojon, the Deputy Special Representative for the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel.
The event was on the theme: “Mobilising Support and Accelerating Implementation of the SDGs”.
Vice President Bawumia said the private sector should be interested in the SDGs because successful implementation of the goals would create a stable business climate to work and ensure sustainability of their operations.
He said a Report by the Sustainable Development Commission of the UN indicated that there were about 12 trillion dollars available to the private sector to access towards the implementation of the SDGs.
Therefore every country is supposed to build a strong foundation to achieve the SDGs, which required those countries to have good investment climate with functioning regulatory bodies to facilitate the process, he said.
“So whatever you do, you must ensure inclusiveness in order to achieve the SDGs. For instance, in Ghana, we’re prioritising education to make sure everyone, at least, attain senior high education.
“We cannot build an economy that is exclusive, we must build an economy that is inclusive and since independence, the paradigm is shifting from exclusive economy to that of inclusive one whether in the education, healthcare and identifying people.
“What we want in Ghana is ensuring inclusion in everything we do in terms of formalising the economy to facilitate job creation.
“We launched the national identification system for easy tracking of individuals. We’re also rolling out the digital property addressing system so that every 5.5 square meters of land or water in the country can be uniquely addressed,” he said.
The Vice President called for investment from all stakeholders to implement the SDGs since it would provide a huge opportunity to the vulnerable and deprived in society to be lifted from the shackles of poverty.
Commenting on how the private sector could be the engine to create jobs, Vice President Bawumia said one of the major concerns of the youth was to secure gainful employment adding that the Nana Addo Dankwa-Akufo-Addo led government was conscious about it and putting measures in place to create jobs for them.
He said the government was creating the enabling environment for investment for both domestic and foreign investors, adding that a conducive business climate was a fundamental ingredient for job creation to propel the fulfilment of the SDGs.
Dr Bawumia called for the introduction of coding in school curricula so that children of school-going age would not be excluded in the digital revolution.
He said the Government introduced the Free Senior High School Policy to provide employable skills to the youth while facilitating plans to extend electricity, water and other basic amenities to the deprived communities.
As part of the decentralisation agenda, he said the government had decided to allocate 20 percent of the Budget to implement the “One Million, One Constituency” initiative so that each constituency would identify its specific needs and channel the funds to resolving them.