Youth Urged to Develop Innovative Solutions to Address SDGs Challenges
Koforidua, 20th September 2018 - Young people have been urged to develop innovative solutions to help address social, environmental and economic challenges that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seek to address. This was a key message underscored by the Assistant Country Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ghana, Mr. Louis Kuukpen, in a statement read on his behalf at a Social Good Summit hosted by All Nations University College on the theme “Leveraging Technology and Innovation towards the Achievement of the SDGs”
Mr. Kuukpen highlighted the need to harness new technologies to address challenges in various sectors of sustainable development, particularly in the area of health, environment and education. He emphasised the importance of partnership in achieving the ambitious targets of the SDGs and the critical role of the youth.
“As young people, you are a critical part of this partnership especially because you are not only active users of new technology but creators of vibrant innovations that is needed to realize the targets set for the SDGs”, stated Mr. Kuukpen.
He also encouraged the youth not to be deterred by challenges that they may face in their pursuit to develop solutions for solving societal problems.
In his welcome address, Dr Samuel Donkor, the President of the All Nations University College, encouraged the students’ participants at the summit to emulate the example of the young engineers of All Nations University, who successfully launched satellite (GhanaSat 1) into orbit. The achievement by the students, he indicated, made Ghana the first country in Sub-Sahara Africa to have launched a satellite into space, which is helping the country to map its coastal areas for security purposes. He said: “You are more informed, more tech-savvy and more connected than any generations before you. You have the opportunity to harness new technology, the internet and services to bring together young people from around the world to share content, ideas, and resources in order to advance progress on global issues”.
Representing the SDGs Advisor to the President (Dr Eugene Owusu) at the event, Ms. Leticia Browne, cited various innovations being championed by young people and advised the youth to emulate their peers by coming up with innovative solutions to support the country’s efforts to move “Ghana Beyond Aid”, as envisioned by the President of the Republic.
In a panel discussion moderated by Ms. Sylvia Senu (Economic Analyst, UNDP) to reflect on the theme for the summit, the panellists made up of Dr Wilhemina Quaye, the Director of the Council for Science and Industrial Research - Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (CSIR-STEPRI); Mr. Michael Asante-Afrifa, Founding Partner of Dext Technology (Innovators of the Science Set); Dr Theophilus Oware, Head of IT and Joseph Quansah, Satellite Technologist, of All Nations University, drew lessons from their experiences in the area of innovation to motivate and counsel the youth to write down their ideas and work relentlessly on implementing them to generate solutions to ensure sustainable development.
The Social Good Summit is an annual UNDP event, which is held during the United Nations General Assembly week, to create awareness on the SDGs. The 2018 summit is focusing on how we can unlock technology’s potential to make the world a better place. This year’s event in Ghana had about 500 participants from the All Nations University College, Koforidua Technical University, Ghana Telecom University, Koforidua Technical Senior High School, and Pope John Senior High and Junior Seminary, all in Koforidua. The 2018 event was supported by Guinness Ghana; and Ghana Broadcasting Cooperation (GBC Sunrise FM), Bryt FM and Eastern FM, all in Koforidua.