UNDP and partners host first Social Good Summit in Ghana.

Sep 22, 2014

The panel that discussed the role of social media in stimulating action for environmental sanitation

The United Nations Development Programme and Creative Storm Networks have jointly hosted the first Social Good Summit in Ghana. The event, which took place at the studios of Creative Storm Networks, brought together more than 40 participants who explored the theme: “The role of new technology (or social media) in stimulating action for environmental sanitation in Ghana”.

Explaining the choice of the theme in her welcome address, the acting UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Gita Welch said it has been informed by the rising public concern about the sanitation and waste challenges that presently confront the country.

She noted that the latest MDGs report for Ghana shows that the nation’s MDGs target for sanitation by 2015 is 53 per cent while actual coverage was only 13 per cent. This account, she said, was alarming and could have dire consequences for Ghana if no concrete effort is made to bridge the yawning gap between the MDGs target for sanitation and what has been achieved.

She acknowledged efforts by the Government of Ghana, UN agencies, the private sector and other stakeholders to support public education and the application of technology to improve waste and sanitation management in Ghana. "Nevertheless, given the magnitude of the problem and its negative impact on human development efforts, we think that the application of new technologies, particularly the new media, can effectively complement these national initiatives”, noted Ms. Welch.

Dr. Kwesi Owusu, Executive Director of Creative Storm Networks moderated a three-member panel discussion on the theme. The panel comprised Dr. Simpson Boateng, the Public Health Director of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Dr. Dzidzo Tawiah-Yirenya, Research Fellow at the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies, University of Ghana  and Mr. Kobby Blay, Founder of Ghana Health Nest.

Together with key industry players, the participants provided useful insights into the sanitation and waste situations in Ghana, particularly Accra, and shared ideas on how social media can be used to improve public education and canvass support for managing waste in the country.    

The 2014 Social Good Summit was a global event that took place in more than 70 countries around the world. Organized under the global theme “#2030NOW: Connecting for Good, Connecting for All”, the Social Good Summit asked the question “What type of world do we want to live in by the year 2030?” and "How to unlock the potential of technology to make the world a better place for all?"

Watch a video of the event.

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