President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has restated his commitment to quickly transform the economy for the benefit of all Ghanaians.
The President said he was in a hurry to achieve his Ghana beyond aid agenda and create a strong economy that would provide for the needs of its young population.
President Akufo-Addo was speaking at a meeting with the Prime Minister of Norway, Ms Erna Solberg, on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) currently going on at the UN headquarters in New York, United States of America (USA).
At the meeting between the co-Chairs of the Advocacy Group of Eminent Persons for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) last Sunday, they discussed economic issues, migration, oil and gas, as well as efforts being made by African countries to achieve all the 17 objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
President Akufo-Addo said his government was determined to work fast towards industrialisation and as such his number one goal was to achieve a Ghana beyond aid where the citizenry would stay at home and not feel like going out of the country to seek greener pastures elsewhere.
“If we improve the economy, there will be no need for Ghanaians to go elsewhere to achieve economic goals,” he said.
On the attainment of the 17 SDGs in Africa, President Akufo-Addo said it would be a good idea for the Norwegian Prime Minister to have a discussion with the Chairman of the African Union and President of Rwanda, Mr Paul Kagame, who is championing the cause of SDGs in Africa.
He hinted that Ghana would soon establish an embassy in Norway.
For her part, Ms Solberg lauded Ghana for doing well towards achieving the SDGs.
She, however, pointed out that the same could not be said for many other African countries and described that as worrying.
In her view, if African countries could improve their economies and the livelihoods of their people, there would be no need for the citizens to travel outside the continent in search of greener pastures.
Briefing the media later, Ghana’s Foreign Minister, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, said Mr Kagame was driving the SDG agenda in Africa.
“By and large it is getting acceptance and buy-in and, therefore, we are overcoming the initial problems. We are making progress; I think we are making progress and all African countries are looking for ways and means to make the lives of their citizens better and that is what the SDGs are all about,” she stated.
According to Ms Botchway, all African countries were working hard to achieve the 17 SDGs.
“It is something that needs a bit more work, but by and large we are all doing well,” she stated.
While at the UNGA session, President Akufo-Addo will participate in a series of SDG events and also deliver a speech at the high-level event on the United Nations Youth Strategy.
President Akufo-Addo will also hold bilateral talks with some colleague Heads of State, including the Presidents of Palestine, Estonia and Ukraine, as well as with some chief executive officers (CEOs) of some global enterprises.
He is scheduled to meet with the President of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Judge Chike Eboe-Osuji, before delivering Ghana’s statement at the General Assembly on September 26.
President Akufo-Addo will also receive the 2018 Outstanding Leaders Award from the US Chamber of Commerce in recognition of his leadership and commitment to champion trade and investment as the means of helping grow Ghana’s economy.