By: Shallom Lumor | Voltaonlinegh.com |
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has urged businesses in the private sector to use the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework for impact investment in Ghana.
The call was made by the Acting Resident Representative of UNDP Ghana, Ms. Gita Welch in a keynote address at the 2018 Ghana Impact Dialogue held in Accra by the Global Steering Group (GSG) on the theme “Creating a Ghanaian Impact Economy”.
Ms. Welch emphasised that impact investment is crucial for the achievement of the SDGs as it brings more philanthropic and private money into the development system to drive powerful social change.
“Through the process of allocating resources for products and services, the private sector could make returns to expand the interest in making purposeful, replicable, measurable and impactful investments which would have powerful consequences for social change within our communities.”
She added that, in line with the vision of “Ghana Beyond Aid”, developing an ecosystem for impact investment is very important as this will complement traditional types of development financing with philanthropic, private and blended capital to enhance shared value.
Ms. Welch indicated that UNDP has established SDG Impact Facility at the global level to support businesses to adapt and transform their core strategies to deliver financial, social and environmental performance, and to use the SDGs as the basis for engaging in untapped markets.
Citing specific examples of UNDP’s impact investment initiatives in Ghana, she noted that UNDP was facilitating a Multi-Stakeholder Waste Resource Platform, which is a digitally-enabled one stop shop solution to connect key stakeholders to promote waste recovery in the country.
She also stated that the Country Office was supporting a South-South Cooperation and match-making opportunities between businesses from Ghana and other countries from the South, one of which will be resulting in a joint venture to establish a solar photovoltaic plant in Ghana.
Panelists during a discussion agreed that businesses should focus more on the environmental impacts of their activities and not only on the social impacts. They also explored how the private sector can be a hub for testing new ideas; driving a culture of using data to inform decisions at all sectors and supporting a transformation of the educational system to shift from knowledge acquisition to skills application.
The dialogue also witnessed the launch of a report on the State of Impact Investing in Ghana. Presenting key findings from the report, Ms. Krizstina Tora, Marketing and Development Director of the Global Steering Group, noted that impact investment in Ghana is growing, mainly due to Government interventions to increase the supply of capital in the market.
She however indicated that there was still a great deal of opportunities for policy makers to work with investors to further enhance the sector.
The report made recommendations including the need for a common platform for collaboration and knowledge sharing among stakeholders to promote start-ups and Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across Ghana as means of attracting more impact investments.
The 2018 Ghana Impact Dialogue was an initiative by the Global Steering Group (GSG) for Impact Investment, in partnership with the Department for International Development (DFID). It brought together key stakeholders from Ghana and beyond for a collaborative dialogue on Ghana’s future as an impact economy.