Africa should strive to improve quality of life for all, says top Senegalese official

Dakar, Senegal, May 2, 2018 (ECA) – The sustainable development goals will not be met unless countries and international organisations strive to ensure the poorest and marginalized people do not continue to be left behind by progress, says Moubarack Lo, Chief Economist in the Senegalese Prime Minister’s Office. 

Speaking at a pre-event at the beginning of the fourth session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development on what ‘Leaving No One Behind in Africa Actually Looks Like’, Mr. Lo said nations need to be more ambitious and target quality of life and not just extreme poverty as they seek to fulfil the commitment to leave no-one behind by eliminating poverty from communities. 

“We are targeting sustainable development for all by 2030 so everybody should have standard quality of life,” he said. 

“We have to understand what we mean by this. For me it’s quality of life for all and not just the basics. If it is water then let people have quality water, quality schools, quality health, energy and all. We should raise the bar as Africa. We have moved from millennium development goals to the sustainable development goals and poverty reduction is no longer the paradigm, the paradigm now is quality of life for all. That’s why SDGs are important.” 

Mr. Lo said governments should not waste time but act now to ensure it does not get harder for them to deliver on their promises by 2030. 

He said Senegal is doing all it can to ensure it delivers quality services to its people as it seeks to make good on the promise of leaving no one behind. 

“We are developing a quality of life index and we will use it as a tool to monitor ourselves and ensure we achieve our SDG goals because the total cost of leaving people behind is far greater than carrying everyone through and making sure that they have quality life across the board,” said Mr. Lo. 

Many people around the world continue to face social exclusion and limited access to social, economic and political opportunities despite remarkable progress over the years.  

The pre event sought to discuss how social exclusion can be combated, in particular what that would look like for Africa. 

“This is what we must bring to an end by ensuring we do not pull one group from poverty and leave another one. We in Senegal are thriving for quality of life for all,” said Mr. Lo. 

Against the backdrop of uneven progress, inclusiveness and shared prosperity emerged as core aspirations of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The central pledge contained in the agenda is to ensure that no one will be left behind and to see all goals and targets met for all nations, peoples and for all parts of society, endeavouring to reach the furthest behind first. 

In Africa Agenda 2030 is being implemented concurrently with the continent’s 50-year development plan, Agenda 2063. 


Issued by:

Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
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Addis Ababa
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