Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, Friday said to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, Africa needs to close a financing gap of around US$425 billion in the next three years.
He said the continent had to also ramp up vaccine rollouts, build organizational capital of the private sector, and invest in long-term and climate-conscious sustainable development.
Mr Ofori-Atta made the remarks at the launch and presentation of the 2020 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Budget Report in Accra.
He said urgent investments in sustainable and technology-enhanced agriculture, renewable energy and transport, digitalisation, biodiversity, and human capital development were an absolute necessity for the country’s recovery.
"So we can no longer talk about the Decade of Action without talking about the impact of COVID-19; and the need to ensure that we recalibrate our economies to leapfrog towards the agreed deadline," he added.
The Minister said as at the end of 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, the SDGs financing gap in developing countries stood at $2.5 trillion; and about 10 months into the pandemic the financing gap had widened by 70 percent, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and stood at $ 4.2 trillion.
He said since the launch of the baseline report, the country had published two more reports, with the 2020 SDGs Budget Report being the most recent.
Mr Ofori-Atta said with less than nine years to 2030, the deadline for realizing the SDGs, the government had concurred with the United Nations on the need for accelerated action to enable the country to realise the ambitious yet critical objectives that "we have set for ourselves in the SDGs."
He said the Pandemic had exacerbated the challenges of achieving the Global and Country level SDG Goals but "we can not despair."
On the reasons for developing the SDGs budget report, the Minister said in 2018 when the SDGs Baseline Report was launched, the country recognised the challenges that countries were facing with accessing critical financing for the implementation of the SDGs.
He said the country also recognised that aligning the domestic budget to the SDGs was the first step towards optimising the country’s current financial resources for Agenda 2030.
The Minister said that process could place government in a better position to encourage the injection of more private capital in the implementation of the SDGs.
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