Call for proposals for side events

I. Background

The Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) is an intergovernmental forum convened by the Economic Commission for Africa in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank and agencies of the United Nations system. The Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development was established pursuant to General Assembly resolutions 67/290, 70/1 and 70/299, in which the Assembly, inter alia, acknowledged the importance of the regional dimensions of sustainable development and invited the regional commissions to contribute to the work of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, including through annual regional meetings to follow-up on and review the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The ARFSD adopts as its outcome key messages that serve as Africa’s collective input to the annual sessions of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. It therefore serves as an important mechanism, not only for tracking progress in implementation at the regional level, but also for keeping all stakeholders mobilized and engaged in strengthening their commitment to concerted action and in garnering international support for efforts to translate the Sustainable Development Goals into measurable and shared prosperity that benefits the planet and its people.

The ARFSD 6 is being convened jointly by ECA and the Government of Zimbabwe in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank and other United Nations entities from 24-27 February 2020, in Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe.

The Sixth (2020) session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD 6) will be held under the theme “2020-2030: A Decade to Deliver a Transformed and Prosperous Africa through the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063”. It will undertake a review of all the 17 SDGs and corresponding goals of Agenda 2063.

To promote an interlinkages approach to the review and deliberations during the Forum, the 17 goals will be clustered around the five Ps – People, Prosperity, Planet, Peace and Partnerships as follows:

Subtheme area



Goals 1 (No poverty), 2 (Zero hunger), 3 (Good health and wellbeing), 4 (Quality education) and 5 (Gender equality)


Goals 7 (Affordable and clean energy), 8 (Decent work and economic growth), 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), 10 (Reduced inequalities) and 11 (Sustainable cities and communities)


Goals 6 (Clean water and sanitation), 12 (Responsible consumption and production), 13 (Climate action), 14 (Life below water) and 15 (Life on land)


Goal 16 (Peace, justice and strong institutions)


Goal 17 (Partnerships for the Goals)

It will be preceded by two main pre-events on the themes “Preparatory and capacity-development workshop for major groups and other stakeholders in the Africa region” and “Strengthening voluntary national reviews”.

II. Call for proposals for Side Events

As an open space for the exchange of cutting-edge ideas, experiences and lessons learned in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063, the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development is a unique opportunity for various stakeholders to organize side-events that have a clear focus on the themes and subthemes of the Forum and that will feed into its deliberations.

Member States, United Nations organizations and major groups and stakeholders are invited to submit their proposals for side events using the event request form by 15 December 2019.

Please note that, in accordance with the structure planned for the ARFSD 6, side events will be organized on the margins of the Forum. Also note that these events should be organized with the objective of sharing experiences, best practices and innovative perspectives on the theme and subthemes of the Forum and should strengthen partnerships and the means of Goal implementation.

The events can focus on one or more of the subthemes of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, taking into account integrated approaches to transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies.

III. Selection criteria

Any entity interested in organizing a side event during the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development can submit a proposal. Owing to space and other considerations, however, each organizer cannot be involved in more than one side event. The submission must be on the event request form, providing a detailed description of the event (1 pager), the organizers, partners, panelists and speakers, and how the event would contribute to discussions on the main theme or one or more of the subthemes of the Forum.

Side event request form Click here

The basic criteria for selection include the following:
  • Given the inclusive nature of the Goals in general and of SDG17 in particular, priority will be given to side events organized by groups of two or more partners, sponsors or participants, or any combination thereof;
  • The theme of the side event should relate to at least one of the subthemes provided above or be cross-cutting in nature;
  • Consideration should be given to geographic and gender balance in the choice of speakers and panelists;
  • The format of the side event should ensure broad stakeholder participation, including that of the private sector and major groups, and actively involve the audience;
  • The side event should last no longer than 1 and 1/2 hours and should not overlap with the main sessions of the Forum. There is also a possibility for the side-event to be a full-day side-event on  24 February 2020.
Event organizers will be informed of the results of the selection process and a list of all registered pre-events and side events will be published after the registration process has been completed.

IV. Responsibility of the organizers

The logistics of the side events, such as room allocation and the setting up of audiovisual equipment, need to be arranged in collaboration with the side events coordinator. The organizers of the side events will be responsible for the following:
  • Inviting speakers and panelists and handling their visa and travel arrangements;
  • Inviting participants from member States, major groups and other stakeholders;
  • Preparing a summary report on the event and sharing it with the secretariat of the Forum;
  • Publicity, reproduction of materials and media coverage;
  • Any costs related to the venue, equipment and services;
  • Any catering services that may be required, which must be arranged through the designated caterers of the Forum and fully paid by the organizers;
  • Events should be conducted in English or French. Arrangements for simultaneous interpretation will be the responsibility of the organizers.

V. Communication

All queries relating to pre-events and side events should be addressed to the following:

Marit Kitaw
Email :

Nonduduzo Ndlovu
Email :

Gedion Workneh

Ibrahim Mamma Hussein


[1] Each report will have cover the corresponding goals of Agenda 2063


How to Register as Self-Sponsored Participant

  1. Go to ARFSD 2020 website (
  2. Click on the menu item “Self-sponsored registration” (
  3. Fill in the registration details.
  4. Following the Secretariat’s approval, you will be sent an invitation letter that you can use to facilitate your travel arrangement to attend the Forum.