UNDP Country Director Calls on Norwegian Ambassador in Ghana to Strengthen Collaboration on SDGsAug 7, 2018
The Country Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ghana, Ms. Gita Honwana Welch paid a courtesy call on the Norwegian Ambassador of Ghana, His Excellency Gunnar Andreas Holm, to discuss recent partnerships between UNDP and the Government of Norway, and to explore further areas of collaboration on the implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Ghana.
Ms. Welch seized the opportunity to commend the Norwegian Government for its continued partnerships with UNDP in implementing various development initiatives. She noted that “Norway is one of the key strategic partners and a key donor of UNDP globally and locally; and was among the top three donors of UNDP Ghana on its just ended programme cycle for 2012-2017”.
The UNDP Country Director, Ms. Welch acknowledged recent support from the people and Government of Norway in supporting the SDGs Unit at the Office of the President. She cited support for the organization of a High-Level African Roundtable Forum on SDGs, which facilitated engagement with African Leaders and other stakeholders on the essence and value of the SDGs implementation in Africa. She added that Ghana and Norway have special relations because His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Prime Minister of Norway, H.E. Erna Solberg are co-Chairs of the Eminent Group of SDGs Advocates.
Ms. Welch also stressed on Norway’s funding support towards the reduction of disaster risk in Ghana, highlighting the achievements of a recent project entitled "Community Resilience through Early Warning (CREW)”. She noted that this project has supported the development of the first ever multi-hazard Early Warning System (EWS) for Ghana, established Web-based Emergency Operation Centres at the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) Headquarters and 20 sub-national offices in Ghana to facilitate early weather forecasting. She indicated that the support for the project has also led to the construction of disaster resilient infrastructure such as dams, boreholes, and footbridges in 10 districts in the country.
Speaking on the current programme areas of the Embassy, the Norwegian Ambassador, H.E. Holm noted that, the Embassy is presently focusing on developing capacity in the oil and gas sector and has programmes to support the development of the fishery sector in Ghana. He emphasized that the Embassy’s current programme areas are linked to the SDGs, as these are contributing to environmental protection, job creation and livelihoods improvement. H.E. Holm added that the Government of Norway is also encouraging private sector development, and in Ghana, there are currently more than 50 Norwegian companies investing in the private sector for job creation and for economic growth.
The Norwegian Ambassador commended the strong partnership between UNDP and the Government of Norway, especially on an initiative dubbed “Women Situation Room” during the 2016 elections in Ghana, which facilitated the participation and contribution of women and the youth towards the peaceful election. He stated that the concept of the Women Situation Room was successfully replicated in other African countries such as Liberia and Sierra Leone after the 2016 election in Ghana.
The discussions underscored the importance of encouraging more private sector organizations to integrate SDGs in their corporate social responsibility programmes, in line with initiatives of the SDGs Unit of the Office of the President.