The Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD), convened by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in collaboration with regional organizations and the United Nations System, seeks to advance the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda and the goals set out in Africa’s Agenda 2063. The Forum does so by providing a multi-stakeholder platform for follow-up and review of implementation progress and challenges, strengthening learning and advocating effective policy measures and actions to achieve the goals of the two agendas. In so doing the Regional forum makes important contributions to strengthening multi-stakeholder engagement and synergies, and thus promoting concerted efforts to implement and achieve the development goals of the two mutually reinforcing agendas. Four sessions of the Forum have been held since 2015.
The Fifth (2019) session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD 5) will be held under the theme “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.” It will carry out in-depth review of SDG 4 (quality education), SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG 10 (reduced inequalities), SDG 13 (climate action), and SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) and the corresponding goals of Agenda 2063 . The forum will also undertake an in-depth review of SDG 17 (partnerships for the Goals) to address challenges and strengthen partnerships to develop capacity, harness science and technologies and mobilize and scale up finance to implement the goals.
The outcomes of ARFSD 5 will (i) feed into the 2019 session of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) under the auspices of ECOSOC, which will be held in July 2019 focusing on the same theme and selected SDGs; and (ii) be used for policy advocacy, formulation and implementation at regional and national levels. Moreover, 2019 is of special significance given that for first time the HLPF under the auspices of the UN General Assembly (SDG or Leaders’ Summit) will be held in September 2019.The ARFSD therefore offers opportunity for Africa to articulate its inputs to the Leaders’ summit as well. Such inputs will include Africa’s specific challenges in the implementation of the SDGs, gaps and levers of change to accelerate implementation.