The SDGs Advisory Unit of the Office of the President of Ghana has signed an agreement with Reach for Change to launch an Africa-Wide competition on innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is one of the initiatives of the President of Ghana, His Excellency President Nana Akufo-Addo, as part of his role as co-chair of the group of Eminent Advocates for the SDGs.
The agreement was signed on Thursday, May 24 by Dr. Eugene Owusu from the SDGs Advisory Unit of Office of the President and Amma Lartey from Reach for Change at the Presidential Villa, State House in Accra.
The competition, dubbed “Africa Innovates for the SDGs,” will award early-stage innovators with ideas that contribute to the achievement of the SDGs, drive private and public sector support for the SDGs and increase understanding and awareness among the public and key stakeholders about the SDGs. The competition will also raise the profile of innovators and their programs, enabling them to garner more support. Africa Innovates for the SDGs will also mobilize private and public sector champions to support innovations for the SDGs.
“Our office is proud to be launching this initiative, to find and award Africa’s strongest early-stage social innovators who are contributing to SDG attainment in areas such as health, education, poverty, hunger, economic growth, climate and more,” said Eugene Owusu, Special Advisor to the President on the SDGs. “We firmly believe that the SDGs can be achieved when we work together. The private sector, for instance, has the resources and expertise to add great value to public initiatives and drive greater impact in SDG targets; bringing together players from various sectors is a core tenet of Africa Innovates for the SDGs competition.”
In her remarks, the Africa Regional Director for Reach for Change, Amma Lartey, said: “For Africa to achieve the SDGs, innovation and multi-stakeholder partnerships are essential. By fostering collaborations, and harnessing the ingenuity of local African innovators, the competition will also serve to help achieve the objectives of SDG 17 – building partnerships to drive SDG attainment.”
The competition will seek out African innovators whose work contributes to the achievement of one or more of the SDGs such as digital platforms that provide students and teachers with access to quality educational content, and works toward the achievement of SDG 4: Quality Education or mobile testing clinics that enable quick and easy testing for people that do not have access to traditional healthcare facilities which works toward the achievement of SDG 3: Good Health.
The Africa Innovates for the SDGs Competition is expected to commence in July 2018.