The Special Advisor to the President on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Dr. Eugene Owusu, has announced that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, under his leadership as Co-Chair of the UN Secretary General’s Emeritus Group of SDGs Advocates, will host the SDGs Action Summit 2024 in Accra.

The Summit, to be held under the theme “From Mid-Point to Success – Recommitting, Scaling Up, and Accelerating Action on the SDGs,” will take place on July 2 and 3, 2024.

Speaking during a press launch, organized by the SDGs Advisory Unit at the Office of the President yesterday, Dr. Eugene Owusu unveiled the Summit’s details, and underscored its significance.

He outlined the critical challenges Africa faces in achieving the SDGs, stressing the difficulties posed by climate change, conflict, the lingering effects of COVID-19, policy failures, misgovernance and an unbalanced global governance architecture.

“The challenge that Africa faces in achieving the SDGs is compounded by a plethora of man-made challenges: climate change, conflict, the residual but consequential effects of COVID-19, policy failures and misgovernance, and a pear-shaped global governance architecture,” Dr. Owusu stated.

According to him, all these challenges are reinforcing deprivation across the continent, exacerbating poverty, fueling instability, and widening inequalities within countries.

He bemoaned that these challenges were acutely undermining prospects for achieving the Goals. Dr. Owusu, however, highlighted the immense opportunities within the SDGs framework to address these issues and drive inclusive and sustainable development.

“We cannot despair and throw the baby out with the bath water. We continue to have abundant opportunities in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to address these challenges, foster inclusive and sustainable development across our continent, and give our world a fair chance of achieving global peace and stability, engender prosperity for all, and save our planet,” he said.He noted that the upcoming SDGs Action Summit 2024 was inspired by this very conviction. “This conviction has inspired the organisation of the SDGs Action Summit 2024, which is being held under the auspices of H.E the President of the Republic, in his capacity as co-chair of the Emeritus Group of SDGs Advocates.

“The Summit is strategically timed as the world gears up for the ‘UN Summit of the Future’, aiming to catalyze action on the SDGs and build a consensus for delivering a better today while safeguarding the future,” Dr. Owusu indicated.

He added:  “This SDGs Action Summit 2024 comes as our world prepares for the UN Summit of the Future, which aims to turbocharge actions on the SDGs, as well as build a consensus on delivering a better today whilst safeguarding the future”.

For his part, the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Charles Abani, lamented the insufficient development finance that had hampered the execution of the SDGs. He emphasised the Summit’s role in uniting key stakeholders to drive progress towards these goals.

He stressed the urgency of accelerated action to meet the 2030 targets, highlighting the dire consequences of not meeting the target.

“The urgency of action on the SDGs cannot be overstated. We are at a critical juncture where accelerated efforts are necessary to give us a reasonable chance of meeting the 2030 targets. The opportunities to act are abundant, and the cost of failure is too high to ignore,” he stated.

In his view, “if we fail to achieve the SDGs, the repercussions will be felt across all sectors of our society. Economic stagnation, increased inequality, and environmental degradation are just a few of the dire consequences we could face”.

The Summit promises to bring together distinguished personalities such as Muhammadu Sanusi II, former President of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed, prominent business executive Patricia Poku-Diaby, and SDGs Advocate Hindou Ibrahim, among others.