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Kigali, 14.06.2019 – From June 12-14, Heads of States, policy makers, representatives of International Organisations, Civil Society Organisation, Research and Academia and the general public gathered together to discuss progress on SDGs implementation. The conference “SDGs Implementation in Africa – Reflections on a Three-Year Journey” commenced with two pre-conference days, which saw three in-depth sessions targeting specific topics highly relevant to the African context. The debates on Monitoring and Reporting on the SDGs, revitalizing National Development Banks, and Financing Education, Health, and Green Water were fruitful, engaging, and invited participants to share experiences and explore innovative solutions.
Attended by about 700 participants, the main day of the conference, moderated by George Ndirangu from BBC Africa, saw many highlights. Beginning with the presentation of the Africa 2030: SDG Reality Check Report and the following Panel discussion, both emphasising some stark challenges remaining for SDGs implementation, such as the lack of Data, missing accountability mechanisms and the lack of Financial resources.
The presidential panel was introduced by Dr. Belay E. Begashaw, Director General of the SDGC/A, and contextualised by Dr. Vera Songwe’s keynote address. Dr. Songwe, Executive Secretary at the UN Economic Commission for Africa represented H.E. Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations. The launch of the 2019 Africa SDG Index and Dashboard Report, produced by the SDGC/A in collaboration with its partner the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) through H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union, further underlined some key challenges on the continent. During the official launch of the SDGC/A’s Africa 2030 Report, H.E Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, highlighted that “on almost every Goal our continent is not on track to achieving the 2030 targets” but it is within the continent’s capacities to achieve the Goals and ambitions must be high. H.E. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, and H.E. Chief Jewel C. Howard-Taylor, Vice-President of the Republic of Liberia joined in for a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Donald Kaberuka, 7th President of the African Development Bank Group, reflecting on SDG progress in Africa. The presidential debate touched on important socio-economic issues, tapping into the potential of young people on the continent and enable them to be part of this transformative agenda, the need of African nations to have strong leadership and inclusive governance structures and work multilaterally and in partnership, a focus on women empowerment and the achievement of SDG 5: Gender Equality.
During the afternoon a Panel on Governance, Financing and Social Inclusion with panellists from international institutions, civil society organisations, government and financial institutions had an engaged debate. ‘Leave no one behind’ the leading principal of the Agenda 2030 was an integral part of the discussion, there is a need to truly understand and unpack the needs of the women, otherwise 50 per cent of the population will be excluded from progress. Equally people affected by crises and displacement need to be reached and included in development endeavours.
This excellent day focused on SDGs Implementation and related challenges and hopes for the continent was concluded by Zouera Youssoufou. The Managing Director of the Aliko Dangote Foundation spoke on behalf of the SDGC/A’s co-chair Aliko Dangote. Ms. Youssoufou reinforced the need for African Nations to be in the driver seat of solving our own African Problems. “Unity is all we need to move this Agenda forward.”
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