Addis Ababa, April 9, 2018 (ECA) – The fourth session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) will be held in Dakar, Senegal, next month under the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development theme: “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies”.
The ARFSD, which tracks progress in the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are at the core of the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, will be held between 2 and 4 May.
Nassim Oulmane, Chief of Green Economy and Natural Resources in the Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA) Special Initiatives Division, says preparations for the forum have reached advanced stages.
The ARFSD, he said, provides political leadership, guidance and recommendations for the follow-up and review of progress in Africa’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda, which forms the global development framework around 17 SDGs, that began in January 2016.
“The forum is also expected to enhance the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development - economic, social and environmental - in a holistic and cross-sectoral manner at all levels,” says Mr. Oulmane.
In Africa, the 2030 Agenda is being implemented concurrently and in an integrated manner with the first 10-year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063, Africa’s 50-year plan for socio-economic transformation, which aims to accelerate initiatives for growth and sustainable development on the continent.
Mr. Oulmane said the theme was timely as Africa aims to redouble its efforts to translate rapid economic growth into sustained and inclusive development, through development strategies that foster economic diversification, job creation, help reduce inequality and boost access to basic services.
For Africa, he said, strengthening productive capacities for inclusive growth requires a careful balance between economic diversification to achieve substantial and broad-based economic development, and human well-being as well as environmental stewardship and management of natural resources.
With a particular focus on SDG 4, 6, 7, 11, 12 and 15 and the corresponding goals of the First 10-year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063, the specific objectives of the Regional Forum are to:
Carry out a regional follow-up to and review of the implementation of the two agendas and address challenges and opportunities associated with the implementation;
Provide a platform for peer learning and sharing experiences, good practices and lessons learned to accelerate implementation of the two agendas;
Deliberate and agree on Africa’s priorities and recommendations as the region’s collective input to the 2018 High-level Political Forum session.
Activities of the regional forum will follow sub-themes of clean water and sanitation; affordable and clean energy; sustainable cities and communities; responsible consumption and production; and life on land.
Among critical issues for discussion are major trends and progress in implementation, including early results and promising approaches and practices that could be scaled-up and out scaled to achieve set targets; emerging issues, challenges and opportunities to enhance implementation; delivering on the means of implementation; the role and status of data and statistics to track progress and to inform necessary policies and other measures to advance implementation; and strategic policy recommendations and measures to accelerate the implementation and achieve the goal and set targets.
The ARFSD will be preceded by a number of pre-forum events whose outcomes will feed into the forum.
High-level experts from member States’ ministries and agencies in charge of economic planning, finance, environment and social affairs, mining and mineral resources, and science and technology will attend the forum as well as representatives of civil society, business and industry organizations, academia, and research institutions.
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