The Development Strategies for Urban Sustainability in Africa on the basis of SDGs Interlinkages (USiA) has identified three potential solutions to Ghana’s sustainability of urban-rural linkages.
They are gender inclusiveness, investment in basic and economic infrastructure, and promoting modernised and sustainable agriculture systems.
The research recommended incorporation of gender sensitivity into all policy and decision-making processes and increase public awareness to ensure that gender equality is mainstreamed in all sectors of the economy.
Others are enhancing economic empowerment of women including skills development for the right job, community driven and participation and strengthening institutional capacity to comply with international and national mandates to improve the status of women.
USiA is a research project analysing synergy and trade-offs across the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and seeks to propose policy recommendations on international cooperation, investment and solution prioritisation to implement the United Nations SDG 9 and 11 in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The project, which is currently examining three specific sustainability challenges in the context of Malawi, Ghana and South Africa, will generate new policy recommendations and project models for potential interests in collaboration with various development partners.
It is in collaboration with the University of Tokyo, Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science, United Nations University – Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability, and Institute for Global Environmental Strategies.
The Institute of Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS) of the University of Ghana, Legon is the lead partner for the Ghana project being funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Speaking at the follow-up workshop in Accra, Professor Chris Gordon, a Member of the IESS and the Country Lead for Engagement for the Climatic Knowledge Development, said there were several approaches to looking at governance of natural resources.
“We have long standing problems that had not been addressed adequately and because of the complexity of the problems, sometimes as we solve one part, we make other parts worst,” he said, and that that was why the project was looking at integrated solutions in that particular case, the links between SDGs 9 and 11.
“In governance, we ask ourselves do we want governance for transformation – that is governance that creates conditions for transformation in socio-technical ecological system to emerge or governance to actively trigger and steer a transformation process …”
“Once we know what we want as a nation, then we are in a position to decide what sort of governance we need to address our developmental challenges,” he added.
Dr Osamu Saito of the United Nations University, Japan, said the challenges of the project was how to minimise the trade-offs and maximise the synergies to benefit Sub-Saharan Africa.
He announced that there would be a third workshop in Tokyo, Japan to finalise issues prior to the forthcoming TICAD VII Conference to be held in Yokohama, Japan from August 28 to 30, this year.
Dr Adelina Mensah, IESS, University of Ghana, emphasised the need to explore new solutions to enhance capacity for both men and women in skills development.