SDGs: Africa plots course correction
Freddy Mambara & David Muchagoneyi
Harare – The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) says the majority of countries on the continent are lagging behind in terms of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the 2030 deadline approaches.
“Current growth trajectories suggest that many countries will fail to achieve the SDGs by the 2030 deadline,” Mr Jean-Paul Adam – Director of Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resource Management at ECA – said this week.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015 that is focused around achieving 17 goals within 15 years. These include ending all poverty; promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth; and full and productive employment and decent work for everyone, among others.
Mr Adam underscored the importance of “reconstructing our socioeconomic systems by leveraging opportunities presented by green and low carbon development trajectories with a view to building a resilient, inclusive and sustainable Africa”.
It is against this backdrop that deliberations at the seventh Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD2021) will focus on “Building forward better: towards a resilient and green Africa to achieve the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063”.
The forum is an annual ECA event aimed at advancing integrated implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
ARFSD2021 takes place on March 1-4 March 2021 in Congo-Brazzaville as a hybrid event, given ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
The Forum is aligned with the 2021 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, which has been themed “Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”.
Mr Adam said, “In the wake of the pandemic and the economic and social devastation it has wrought, both themes acknowledge the importance of reconstructing our socioeconomic systems by leveraging opportunities presented by green and low carbon development trajectories with a view to building a resilient, inclusive and sustainable Africa.”
He emphasised that the climate crisis should not be treated as distinct from the health and economic challenges instigated by the pandemic because “the three crises and their solutions are interconnected”.
Many African economies contracted by between four and eight percent last year, a decline the UN Conference on Trade and Development attributed to export adjustments affecting primary commodity exporters, and the attendant losses to tax revenues.