CO-FOUNDER and CEO of Global Citizen, Hugh Evans says many of the issues confronting Ghana are globally inclined which therefore require concerted action to address them.
According to him, issues of financial challenges, climate change, debt servicing, fertiliser scarcity and agricultural problems are around the world, noting that this is not limited to Ghana alone.
Speaking in an interview with DAILY GUIDE ahead of the 10th anniversary of the Global Citizen Festival celebration at the Black Star Square in Accra, Mr. Evans said, “It is not right that Ghana is paying one third of its total budget in debt repayment.”
He continued, “It is not right that girls are not getting access to education; it is not right that a country like Ghana which did little to contribute to climate change is shouldering a disproportionate effect on agriculture and fisheries.”
Global Citizen Festival
The Global Citizen Festival, which will take place simultaneously at New York’s Central Park in the USA and the Black Star Square on September 24, is intended to urge world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly ahead of the G20 and COP27 to invest $600 million into the future of women and girls.
It will also be used to urge world leaders to close the annual $10 billion climate financing shortfall, deliver $500 million to help African farmers respond to the global food crisis, and provide urgent relief from crushing debts to end extreme poverty now.
The Global Citizen CEO stated, “We are coming to Ghana to highlight that many of the issues that the country is facing, including challenges around small-holder agricultural farming, climate change, using the entire budget to repay debt, are issues for the whole world to grapple with.”
He continued, “That is why we are calling on people to take action immediately,” and added that the Global Citizen Festival in Accra would feature performances from Usher, SZA, Stormzy, Tems, H.E.R., Gyakie, Sarkodie, and Stonebwoy.
He explained that Global Citizen is a movement of millions of members all around the world taking action for the eradication of extreme poverty to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
“When you talk about something big, it is poverty and climate change. You can’t just solve them through traditional charity. Charity is great and can make a difference.
“It is always good for us all to be generous, but we need the power of movement to put pressure on governments and businesses to do the right thing and invest the multi-billion dollars required to address the systemic nature of these issues,” Hugh posited.
According to him, Global Citizens have taken over 30.4 million actions since 2009, and these actions, in combination with high-level advocacy work, have led to over $41.4 billion being distributed to “our partners around the world, impacting 1.15 billion lives in the fight to end extreme poverty.”
He said the fund was to address issues on health, education, water and sanitation, climate change and girls’ empowerment.
“Yes, the movement is effective, but we need more power, and we need more people taking action. And the way that is going to happen is if Ghanaians, like yourself, as well as people across West Africa and around the world join together and say enough is enough,” he told the paper.
“We have got many of the world’s largest corporations to commit to zero-carbon emission by 2030 and 2050 respectively.
“We raised about US$127 million in one night for COVID-19 response. We have also been campaigning for menstrual hygiene programmes in South Africa, and we raised $127 million for menstrual hygiene programmes. So we are making a huge impact.
“But the reality is that COVID-19 pushed a 100 million people into extreme poverty, and if we don’t take urgent action by November, 200 million more people will be pushed into extreme poverty,” he noted.
By Ernest Kofi Adu