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ARFSD2021: Equity & inclusion should underpin Africa's COVID-19 recovery strategies

4 March, 2021
ARFSD2021: Equity & inclusion should underpin Africa's COVID-19 recovery strategies

Brazzaville, Congo, March 4, 2021 (ECA) - Member States should ensure that equity, inclusion, and non-discrimination underpin all efforts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and regularly report on the progress made in reaching the most deprived and marginalized people using disaggregated data.

This is one of the recommendations that came out of the session on country level perspective and regional strategy to support the United Nations Decade of Action and Delivery for Sustainable Development in Africa.

According to Ms. Edith Madela-Mntla of the University of Pretoria, governments should also “promote land tenure, security for local and indigenous women to improve their production from agricultural and other related activities and provide support to small scale farmers in terms of climate- friendly techniques and technologies, and access to finance."

“There will be need to strengthen and progressively increase public investment in line with agreed targets and the provision of high quality, inclusive, accessible and affordable health, and long-term care, nutrition, education and social protection services, along with universal health-care coverage for all segments of society,” she said.

Ms. Madela-Mntla  called on member States to improve mechanisms for meaningful and inclusive participation of stakeholders, including children, young people, older persons, migrants, workers, worker organizations, women and girls, persons with disabilities, internally displaced people, people with disabilities, academia, homeless people with disabilities, persons with albinism, refugees, indigenous communities, homeless people and other marginalized groups in decision making, implementation and accounting processes around the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 and COVID 19 response and recovery strategies, including the vaccine plans.

Along with the need to have political support provided by the centre of government, promoting partnerships with constituencies within and across governments would be equally important in the quest to achieve sustainable development goals post the COVID-19 era.

According to Micheline Baussard of the UNDP, the sustainable development goals have the power to create a better world by 2030, by ending poverty, fighting inequality, and addressing the urgency of climate change. "We need to help member States to take ownership of this issue of sustainability. It has not really been understood," he said.

First, for selected goals and targets, especially core goals related to human development, are four of the five subthemes of the SDGs – People, Planet, Prosperity, and Peace.

“Progress toward the SDGs will be shaped by interactions between many global systems, COVID-19, and the special efforts that national societies and the global community are making to address the pandemic and reset themselves on accelerated sustainable development pathways,” said Munyaradzi Chenje, moderator for the session.

“The possibility is there that COVID-19’s impact will prove worse than now anticipated and a new social contract of an integrated push toward the SDGs that combines increased efficiency of government, behavioral changes, and big investments is crucial.”

Baussard called for the teaching of SDGs and what they stood for from an early age in schools to foster understanding and appreciation of the world we live in.

National societies and the global community were broadly committed to reaching the SDGs prior to the pandemic.

Baussard said in the face of the pandemic, the next phase will be to help decision-makers look beyond recovery, toward 2030, making choices and managing complexity and uncertainty in four main areas of governance (building a new social contract), social protection (uprooting inequalities), green economy (rebalancing nature, climate, economy), and digital disruption and innovation (for speed and scale).


Issued by:

Communications Section

Economic Commission for Africa

PO Box 3001

Addis Ababa


Tel: +251 11 551 5826