Harare – Africa is lagging behind in attaining the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, with the continent making progress in just two out of the 17 targets.
This is contained in a summary of proceedings of the recent seventh session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development in Brazzaville, Congo.
“The Forum noted that Africa was on track to attain only one of the Sustainable Development Goals, namely Goal 14, and had made good progress on one other, Goal 10. The current pace of progress on all remaining goals was very slow or stagnant,” reads part of the summary.
Goal 14 involves conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development; and Goal 10 speaks to reducing inequalities, especially for people with mental and psychological challenges.
In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which encapsulates the 17 SDGs on the principle of “leaving no one behind”.
The Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development noted that the continent’s GDP growth had slowed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
“As a consequence, fiscal deficits and debt were rising and effective debt management measures were urgently needed to enable the continent to move forward successful,” further reads the report summary.
“Improvements were noted in such areas as life expectancy, school enrolments and literacy rates, albeit slower than desired, and the share of women in parliaments was on a par with the global average; but concern continued to be aroused by the prevalence of undernourishment, the low coverage of formal social welfare benefits and high levels of gender-based violence.”
The Forum said more needed to be done to ensure access to clean energy and electricity, in addition to greater investment in health.
On governance, the Forum noted that democracy was under threat in some parts of Africa and there was a perception of high levels of corruption.
Some of the recommendations include urging governments to adopt measures to address governance, peace and security; domestic resource mobilisation; and to stem corruption and illicit financial flows.
State and non-state entities were urged to promote sustainable extraction and use of natural resources; and to promote investment in new technologies to increase productivity, spur innovation and accelerate growth.
“The Economic Commission for Africa was requested to support African countries in the use of the integrated planning and reporting toolkit to monitor and track progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and their alignment with Agenda 2063,” reads the summary.