Niamey, Niger, 28 February 2023 (ECA) - It is time for Africa to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals, United Nations Deputy Secretary General, Amina Mohammed, said at the 9th Session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD-9) in Niamey, Niger, calling for greater leadership, commitment and investment in achieving the SDGs.
“We have a common understanding that through Africa-led solutions born on the African soil we can change course and rise to the challenge of achieving Agenda 2063 and the SDGs,” Ms. Mohamed told delegates at the ARFSD, adding that:
"World leaders must set clear ambitions to reduce poverty and inequality by 2030 and must do this by making investments in Africa, investment in our economies, investment in our people especially our women and youth.
The forum is organized jointly by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the Government of Niger and other partners on the theme “Accelerating the inclusive and green recovery from multiple crises and the integrated and full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063.” The three-day event will review progress in the implementation of five selected Sustainable Development Goals on clean water and sanitation; affordable and clean energy; industry, innovation, and infrastructure; sustainable cities and communities; and partnerships for the Goals.
Citing rising intra-Africa trade and the potential of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in lifting 30 million Africans out of poverty, the Deputy Secretary General highlighted that African leaders have endorsed sustainable industrialization and economic diversification as key to Africa’s development. She added that emerging green and digital technologies must be harnessed to serve Africa.
Ahead of the SDGs Summit in September 2023, Ms. Mohamed urged African leaders to set clear ambitions to reduce poverty and inequality by 2030 through leveraging financing and aligning clear SDG commitments to national institutions and budgets.
In his opening remarks, President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger noted that his country was experiencing challenges such as conflict and food insecurity as a result of climate change.
“We should all be convinced that the realization of real progress on the Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda must happen through the promotion of a fair planet, which is inclusive of economic growth and the protection of the environment,” Mr. Bazoum said.
ECA’s Acting Executive Secretary, Antonio Pedro, noted that digital technologies will be crucial to fuelling Africa’s transformation. E-Commerce, for example, is set to grow by 50% in Africa by 2025, said Mr Pedro. To this end, he added, we must bridge the digital divide, particularly along gender lines to ensure true inclusion, and unleash the potential of the 4th industrial revolution.
“Business as usual will not work for Africa,” he said noting that Africa would revisit some of the SDGs, including SDG #9 to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
Speaking on behalf of the African Union Commission’s(AUC) Chaorperson, Monique Nsanzabaganwa, AUC Deputy Chairperson said both Agenda 2023 and Agenda 2063 “remain robust and essential blueprints for transformation and realizing the well-being of the peoples of the Africa we want”
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