Coherent, integrated policies needed to implement SDGs in North Africa (ECA)

Rabat, 26 June 2018 (ECA) – The ECA Office for North Africa is organising, on 26-27 June in Rabat a meeting on SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) implementation in North Africa.

This event is taking place with the participation of about fifty experts and representatives from the Sub-Region (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, the Sudan and Tunisia). Participants will take stock of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in North Africa, the progress made in Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia in this field, the challenges they are facing as well as the lessons learned and good practices the region could benefit from.

In September 2015, the United Nations’ 193 member countries adopted 17 SDGs with the aim of eliminating all forms of poverty and inequality while protecting the planet. Nearly three years later, North Africa has achieved significant progress but major challenges remain, especially in areas such as socio economic and gender inequalities, access to employment (about 33% of young North Africans are unemployed), food security or disparities in access to basic services such as education, health or social protection.

“So far, our countries have not yet been able to develop coordination mechanisms that can facilitate the implementation of SDGs, both internally and between countries”,said Lilia Hachem Naas, Director of the ECA Office for North Africa. The scope of the SDGs and the complexity of the challenges countries are faced with are now forcing decision makers to reconsider how they comprehend these issues in order to design more integrated and coherent policies, she added, stressing that implementing the SDGs requires the adoption of “new governance methods that enable actors at all levels to facilitate the appropriation, the partnerships and shared responsibility of actors at all levels in order to implement transformative projects that can benefit our societies“, Hachem Naas said.

The SDGs are aligned with Morocco’s programmes and sectoral development strategies according to Abdellah Ben Mellouk, Director of Multilateral cooperation and international economic affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and international cooperation of Morocco, who stressed his country’s commitment to contribute to the promotion of a global partnership and to South-South cooperation to achieve sustainable and inclusive development. “Promoting the exchange of experiences and good practices between the countries in our region appears vital and ECA is playing an important role in this respect. ECA can, in cooperation with other UN development agencies, promote initiatives in this field between the countries in our region”, he added.

« ECA and the Arab Maghreb Union are working together in support to regional integration », said Reda El Merini, Head of Economic affairs at the Arab Maghreb Union. “It is now clear that countries cannot achieve sustainable development on their own as they have become interdependent and are faced with the same challengessuch asdesertification, migration or poverty.This is why regional and international cooperation are essential and unavoidable. The Arab Maghreb Union General Secretariat plans to pursue its work with the ECA and its Office for North Africa to transform the SDGs into powerful cooperation and regional integration themes”.

ECA has produced the first report on SDG implementation in Maghreb countries following a request by the General Secretariat of the Arab Maghreb Union and in partnership with UN organisations in North Africa. The report focuses on issues related to food security, energy transition, youth employment, industrial transition, climate change and desertification (SDGs 2, 7, 8, 9, 13 and 15). It also stresses the need for the region to pursue its efforts to raise awareness around the SDGs, to actively involve stakeholders, especially civil society and the private sector, to strengthen the synergies and coherence of policies and strategies adapted to national needs and based on high quality and reliable statistical data. This report will be used as a basis for discussions during this workshop.

This event is being held with the participation of the representatives of the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA) General Secretariat, United Nations agencies based in the Maghreb as well as several regional and international development organisations. The recommendations of the meeting will be presented at the ECA Office for North Africa Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (October 2018) and at the Sub Regional Coordination Meeting (March 2019) which aims to coordinate the support of UN agencies and development partners for the implementation of SDGs in North Africa.

شمال أفريقيا: سياسات مدمجة ومتسقة، ضرورية لتحقيق أهداف التنمية المستدامة (اللجنة الاقتصادية لأفريقيا)

For more information about this event, please visit:

Communication Team
Economic Commission for Africa
Office for North Africa
Tel: +212 (0) 537 548 749