The challenge lies in revenue mobilization to bridge the gap and support the country's SDG objectives. Dr Winfred Nelson, Acting Director of the Development Coordination Division of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), emphasized the need for the government to explore alternative revenue sources to facilitate progress towards the SDGs by 2030.
Speaking at the 12th International Applied Research and Innovation Conference/Fair at Koforidua Technical University (KTU) in the Eastern Region, Dr Nelson addressed the importance of revenue generation in achieving sustainable development.
The event brought together students from various technical universities, including KTU, Accra Technical University, and Sunyani Technical University, as well as students from South African and Kenyan universities.
The SDGs, adopted in 2015 as a universal call to action, aim to eradicate poverty, protect the environment, and ensure peace and prosperity for all by 2030.
These 17 integrated goals encompass social, economic, and environmental aspects, with a focus on reducing inequality and promoting sustainable development.
The United Nations Secretary-General presents an annual SDG progress report based on a global indicator framework and data from national statistical systems.
Ghana's progress report on the implementation of the SDGs, as submitted to the UN, highlights both achievements and challenges. Positive outcomes include gender parity in education, improved healthcare, increased women's participation in governance, access to clean water and electricity, and progress in addressing illegal fishing and financial inclusion.
Dr Nelson suggested that innovative financing from the private sector, including traditional authorities, could enhance revenue mobilization. He proposed leveraging traditional lands as a potential source of revenue to meet SDG timelines.
He also stressed the importance of considering climate change in SDG implementation, as it has a significant impact on various sectors, including agriculture.
Professor David Kofi Essumang, Vice-Chancellor of KTU, highlighted the university's efforts to develop a research strategy that enables students to apply their research findings practically.
This approach aims to empower students to become self-reliant or contribute effectively to their respective industries upon graduation.
The university is also exploring funding sources to support students in commercializing their project works after completing their studies, as mentioned by Dr Samuel Kwofie, the Director of Research and Innovation at KTU.