Abuja, Nigeria, 27 June 2017 (ECA) – All is set for the High Level Policy Dialogue on Development Planning in Africa that opens in Abuja Wednesday with the aim of helping member States mainstream Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into national development plans.
The three-day meeting is being hosted by the Capacity Development Division of the Economic Commission of Africa (ECA) in collaboration with Nigeria’s Budget and National Planning Ministry.
Head of Development Planning and Statistics in the Capacity Development Division, Sylvain Boko, says the 2017 high level policy dialogue will give the continent’s top policymakers an opportunity to meet and discuss Africa’s transformation and sustainable development aspirations in light of Africa’s global commitments to the SDGs.
“This is part of our capacity development strategy. We decided during the restructuring of the Commission, that it’s good to go to policymakers every year, particularly in the area of development planning, to receive from them the mandate for the various areas that we need to focus on in the years that will follow and this is the fifth time that we are holding this high level policy dialogue with them,” he said.
Mr. Boko added that each year participants tell the Commission the thematic issue they would like to focus on.
“It is very important to have this interaction with people at that high level; these are national directors of planning who are in charge of making policy in terms of the future, the vision and development of their various countries and the continent at large,” he said.
Mr. Boko said the high level policy dialogue also serves as a platform for exchange and experience-sharing between the policymakers so they can learn from each other, especially as they discuss some of the challenges that they could have encountered in their countries with respect to mainstreaming the SDGs into their national developmental plans.
The high-level dialogue, which runs from 28-30 June, will be held under the theme; “Mainstreaming the sustainable development goals into national development plans” and also offers participants a forum to share knowledge and experiences in conceptualizing, aligning and measuring SDGs implementation progress with due regard to national development priorities and decision-making processes.
Delegates will also share knowledge on the policy implications of domesticating SDGs to ensure national ownerships of the mainstreaming process.
Mr. Boko said the successful realization of the SDGs, which seek, among other things, to eradicate poverty and ensue that “no one is left behind” in the development process, will largely depend on how member States domesticate them at national and sub-national levels.
In Africa, the SDGs are being implemented concurrently and in an integrated manner with the First 10-year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063, Africa’s 50-year strategic framework for socio-economic transformation which seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.
“The theme of the high level dialogue is very timely; it squares very well with the kind of work that we are doing right now as the ECA in terms of the requests that we are getting from member States for technical assistance. Member States want to understand not only what the opportunities are but also what the challenges are in terms of mainstreaming the SDGs into national policies, which means integrating and aligning the national priorities to the SDGs,” said Mr. Boko.
Participants will also talk about tools and instruments that will help member States evaluate, report and measure progress made in integrating the SDGs into national planning.
Organizers hope that at the end of the meeting participants will be better equipped to conceptualize, formulate, implement, monitor, evaluate and report on national development plans that integrate the SDGs and have a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities of implementing national development plans aligned to the SDGs.
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