Addis, Ethiopia, 15 January 2020 (ECA) - ECA held a technical workshop on 15 and 16 January 2020 bringing together African cities and localities to discuss the preparation of Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs) to monitor progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Representatives from five localities, namely, Accra (Ghana), Yaoundé (Cameroon), Harare (Zimbabwe), Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) and Ngora District (Uganda) presented perspectives for the preparation of VLRs in collaboration with ECA.
The workshop considered the potential of VLRs in accelerating the implementation of both Agendas 2030 and 2063, reviewed the requirements and processes for the preparation of VLRs in specific African cities and localities, and proposed a strategy and roadmap for scaling up the preparation of VLRs in Africa in general. The discussions reiterated the role of VLRs as important tools for meaningful multi-stakeholder engagement and mobilization to advance the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs in Africa.
Ms. Edlam Yemeru, Chief of the Urbanization and Development Section of ECA reiterated the Commission’s commitment to assist cities and localities in undertaking VLRs and congratulated the five localities that have embarked on reviews in making the region a worldwide pioneer given the novelty of the approach globally.
While participants underscored the considerable quantitative data availability challenges faced in each locality, Mr. Charles Akol, Environmental Affairs Officer at ECA, suggested that local governments use already available data, while drawing mainly on qualitative data to assess progress. The VLR process, he added, would ultimately strengthen the identification of data gaps for localities and the means through which they can be addressed.
It was strongly underscored that VLRs are vital in accelerating Africa’s efforts in accelerating the implementation and follow up of the targets set out in Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063. The workshop concluded with the adoption of detailed work plans for the finalisation of VLRs for the five localities by March 2020. As part of the process, the five localities will showcase the results of their VLRs during the 6th session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) to be held 24 to 27 February at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
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