Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama speaks at the Sustainable Development Summit at United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 27, 2015.(Xinhua/Li Muzi)
Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama speaks at the Sustainable Development Summit at United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 27, 2015.(Xinhua/Li Muzi)

The President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama has identified goal number 2 and 7 of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the most critical in order to ensure economic growth and transformation of Africa even though all the other goals are important.

Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama speaks at the Sustainable Development Summit at United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 27, 2015.(Xinhua/Li Muzi)
Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama speaks at the Sustainable Development Summit at United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 27, 2015.(Xinhua/Li Muzi)

Several world leaders met on Saturday 26th September 2015 at the UN General Assembly in New York to adopt the SDGs which comprise 17 Goals and 169 targets aimed at transforming the planet to be a better place for all humans by 2030.

The SDGs will replace and complete what could not be achieved under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which will expire by the end of 2015.

For the next fifteen years the SDGs will address sectors of critical importance for humanity and planet Earth.
SDG # 2 to is to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
In a dialogue session as part of the Summit, President Mahama noted that more jobs must be created for the youth as food productivity and food security are addressed.

President Mahama believes Africa needs more agro-processing factories to transform raw materials into finished products due to the proximity to the production areas.

?We can?t only improve agricultural productivity but also provide jobs for the growing population of young people that we have. Increased productivity will fit hand in glove with the agro-processing sector where Africa has a comparative advantage,? he added.

Making a contribution on SDG # 7 which is to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, the President admitted that ?energy remains the major constraint in economic development in Africa?.
Citing Ghana as an example, President Mahama said the country is experiencing an intensive load shedding regime locally referred to as ?dumsor? due to growing population and industries which have exceeded the capacity of the current power supply.

The load shedding exercise has resulted in the closure of some businesses and several companies have laid off workers blaming inadequate supply of power which has resulted in low production.

But the President says various measures have been put in place to solve the power deficit.
?We have currently put in place a programme to accelerate electricity generation in order to stimulate the growth of the economy?

In solving the power crises which is common in many African countries, President Mahama believes in environmentally friendly sources and mentioned solar as well as hydroelectric energy as examples which have greater potential for the future.

He also cautioned against environmental pollution which is causing devastating climate change.
?We must follow a manner that will not result in further polluting our environment. We must turn to cleaner energy in Africa.

Africa has the greatest insulation of sunlight and therefore solar power is a very viable option. Availability of sufficient power will promote the growth of small and medium enterprises and will support agro ? processing, irrigation and many other job creation enterprises?, he concluded.

Click on the audio below to listen to the full speech by President Mahama.

Story by : David Apinga
Source : newsghana.com.gh

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