The UNDP-led SDG Philanthropy Platform in partnership with Reach for Change and the Ministry of Finance in Ghana, hosted an inaugural interactive dialogue with 20 Ghanaian corporations on Thursday. The dialogue was organized to provide an opportunity for various sectors to discuss how corporate social responsibility (CSR) can drive the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The dialogue, themed “Building Effective Partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals,” was organized to initiate partnerships between the private sector, the development/nonprofit sector and government, enabling them to work together to realize the SDGs in Ghana by 2030.
Ghana’s Minister of Finance, Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta, delivered the keynote address and said that Ghanaian corporations and private companies are critical players in driving Ghana’s SDG targets.
“We strongly believe that Ghana has the means to finance the implementation of the SDGs. For us to achieve a Ghana beyond aid, we need to mobilize domestic resources including the passions and innovations of social enterprises and the funding and business acumen of corporate Ghana,” he said.
Around 25 CEOs from major private companies across Ghana, attended the dialogue and heard about two new national initiatives designed to contribute to the SDGs in Ghana. Reach for Change announced its new National Accelerator programme, entitled “Ghana Innovates for the SDGs,” which support local social innovators to achieve nationwide impact in various SDG areas including health, education, water, poverty, hunger, economic growth, climate and more. The National Accelerator provides an opportunity for Ghanaian corporations to fulfill their corporate social responsibility strategy and can be tailored to specific interest areas of corporate investors, Amma Sefa-Dedeh Lartey, the Reach for Change Africa Director explained after the event.
“Private finance is essential for catalysing development finance and serves as an essential engine for sustainable development,” Lartey said. “When investment is made in local social entrepreneurs, the potential for long term change increases dramatically because social enterprises are impact-driven businesses that are designed to become financially sustainable.”
The Ghana Philanthropy and Impact Investment Forum, an association of corporate and private foundations and impact investors, was launched. The forum will be hosted by SE Ghana with support from the Ministry of Finance and is a result of a series of consultations led by The SDG Philanthropy Forum. It will connect philanthropy and impact investing with the development sector and create opportunities to share knowledge and collaborate around investment in initiatives that are working towards the SDGs.
Karolina Mzyk, Global Manager of the SDG Philanthropy Platform, said that Thursday’s dialogue event was intended as the first of a series of annual meetings to bring together actors from various sectors in Ghana to help them build partnerships towards the Global Goals, and in the process, make a substantial contribution towards Ghana’s SDG targets.
At the conclusion of the event, a number of CEOs pledged financial capital for SDG-targeted development initiatives on behalf of their companies.
Ghana Innovates for the SDGs and the Ghana Philanthropy and Impact Investment Forum are expected to commence operations in early 2018.