At the 78th UNGA in New York
Akufo Addo Says Africa’s SDGs Campaign Is Tottering
Ghana’s Leader, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo made a profound admittance and denunciation when he took his turn on the podium to address the 78th United Nations General Assembly meeting of Heads of State and Governments in New York, USA.
He was emphatic and with figures to buttress his bombshell, he noted Africa is close to ”Much Ado About Nothing” when it comes to the continent’s run in the Sustainable Development Goals. The quote from William Shakespeare depicts a buzzing activity with very little results.
President Akufo Addo admitted in all candour that Africa’s 12 per cent progress so far in the SDGs was abysmal, especially with other poor statistics such as a colossal 50 per cent of the run adjudged to be weak, and 30 per cent in nothingness.
He would have spoken from a very authoritative position for he is a co-chair of the Eminent Panel on the SDGs, a role specially allocated to Ghana in 2015 for showing early signs of leap-frogging in the international co-operative, regrettably not the case anymore. Not when inimical factors, including unforeseen contingencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 attended national programmes toward the target.
It is worthy of note that some experts are weighing in with their own analysis. Dr Michael Hlovor, a Ghanaian with the Tink tank Afro Global is of the view that mismanagement of resources is partly to be blamed for the woes of the continent.
On the call by the Ghanaian leader to illicit financial outflows from the African continent, ranging from money laundering, and political graft to the Transatlantic slave trade and colonialism, the analyst agreed with Akufo Addo that the continent should be recompensed for actions that bled the continent of her resources and manpower. Africa loses 88 billion dollars annually from the current wave of deprivations.
He continued by pounding on the continent’s contemporary political leaders who have not done any better, and importantly he served notice that ”it is even worse now.” With an askance, Dr Hlovor noted that the plunder is severe when agreements covering oil discoveries in Africa are 10 to 90 per cent lopsided in favour of profiteering expatriate companies which are clients of African states. This is compounded by neocolonial trade agreements that grant access to African resources cheaply to raving foreign interests.
Another important point raised by President Akufo Addo was military coups. He said it leads the continent nowhere and in lieu of that, he advocated consensus-building as a way forward for countries seeking to build bridges within diverse, discordant populations.
On Ghana’s non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council in its second year now, the Ghanaian leader said, it is being applied to just causes and the search for peace around the world, consistent with the spirit of the UN body.