The UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) stressed on Monday, June 25, 2018 Africa’s commitment to strengthen the momentum in the implementation of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The ECA further stressed that the continent would speak with one voice during the upcoming High-level Political Forum for Sustainable Development (HLPF) to be held at the UN headquarters in July.
The HLPF, which will be held in New York from July 9 to July 18, is expected to review implementation of some of the SDGs, including the SDGs Goal 6 on clean water and sanitation, Goal 7 on affordable and clean energy, Goal 11 on sustainable cities and communities, Goal 12 on responsible consumption and production, Goal 15 on life on land and Goal 17 on partnerships for the goals, according to the ECA.
“The ECA and its partners will take to the HLPF Africa’s position as agreed by stakeholders at the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) that was held in Dakar, Senegal, in May,” said Fatima Denton, ECA’s Director of Special Initiatives Division, on Monday.
“The key messages that came from the ARFSD will serve as Africa’s collective regional input to the annual high-level political forum,” Denton said.
According to the ECA, Africa needs to mobilise between $600 billion and $1.2 trillion annually if the continent is to achieve its targets as set in Agenda 2030 and its 50-year development plan, Agenda 2063.
Sylvain Boko, Head of the Development Planning and Statistics Cluster in the ECA’s Capacity Development Division (CDD), also stressed the need to join efforts in mobilising resources so as to strengthen the continent’s momentum in achieving the SDGs.
“Achieving the ambitious targets of the 2030 Agenda requires a revitalised and enhanced global partnership that brings together governments, civil society, the private sector, the UN system and other actors and mobilises all available resources,” said Boko.
According to the ECA, the ARFSD is an inter-governmental and multi-stakeholder platform to review progress, share experiences and lessons learned and build a consensus to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Africa’s Agenda 2063.
The ARFSD with regard to clean water and sanitation agreed that water is critical to achieving Africa’s desire of fast economic growth, which will lead to the attainment of a continent free of poverty and hunger, as encapsulated in Agendas 2030 and 2063, according to the ECA.
“The continent lags behind in access to clean water and decent sanitation services,” the ECA said.
“This has serious implications, including for the health and productivity of the people in the region, and undermines their capacity to cope with various shocks.”
The ARFSD recommended the full and effective implementation of the African Water Vision 2025 was crucial to addressing the multiple challenges, enhancing access to water and strengthening integrated water resources management on the continent.
With an increasing population and demand for socioeconomic development, water resources in Africa are projected to become a source of tension, conflict, environmental degradation and vulnerability, it was noted.
“For every SDG we discussed at the ARFSD we will be able to provide regional input to discussions at the HLPF with one voice as we seek ways together to effectively implement the SDGs to eliminate poverty and inequality,” said Denton.
She also stressed that “Africa was more than ready and committed to doing more in the implementation of the sustainable development goals.”
The ECA also revealed on Monday that it will hold a continental High-Level policy dialogue on development in Egypt’s capital Cairo from 10-12 July to evaluate resources and implementation of the SDGs.
The high-level policy dialogue, which will be held under the theme “Financing the SDGs in Africa: Strategies for Planning and Resource Mobilisation,” is expected to provide a platform for African development planners and finance experts to discuss and deliberate on strategies for financing the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Africa, it was noted.
The high-level dialogue, among other things, is also expected to assess funding requirements and gaps for realising the SDGs in Africa; identify domestic and international funding sources, including innovative ones for SDG financing in Africa; enable African countries to exchange experiences on mobilising resources, including good practices and lessons, it was indicated.