Addis Ababa, 21 October 2016 (ECA) - The Economic Commission for Africa and its partners on Friday launched a report, which looks at Africa’s performance on the Millennium Development Goals to date and provides a transition to Africa’s 50-year development plan, Agenda 2063, and the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 Agenda.
The partners are the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank and the United Nations Development Programme.
The report titled, ‘MDGs to Agenda 2063/SDGs Transition Report 2016: Towards an integrated and coherent approach to sustainable development in Africa’ was first launched in New York during the 2016 UN General Assembly and will also be unveiled in African capitals in the next few months.
The report notes Africa made significant strides in implementing the MDGs in five of the eight MDGs; primary school enrolment increased as did gender equality and empowerment of women.
Africa also did well in reducing child mortality, combating the spread of HIV and Aids, malaria and tuberculosis and ensuring environmental sustainability.
Director Adam Elhiraika of the ECA’s Macroeconomic Policy Division, said consolidating and sustaining progress made so far through the MDGs and transitioning into Agendas 2063 and 2030 remained a critical challenge for Africa.
He said African countries should go back to long-term planning for the continent to fully develop, adding that strong continental and global monitoring frameworks are needed to help Africa implement Agendas 2030 and 2063.
“Moving forward, African countries can no longer adopt the business as usual approach as far as Africa’s development is concerned,” said Mr. Elhiraika. “We have to have our own vision, articulate our own priorities and provide the support needed by African countries.”
The report also highlights the need for Africa to invest public resources where it matters most, in particular infrastructure, structural transformation, promoting inclusive growth, among others.
UNDP representative, James Wakiaga, who serves as the Economic Advisor and Head of the Policy Advisory Unit based in Addis Ababa, stressed the need to address Africa’s data challenge through harmonizing data sources across the continent.
“Data collection and analysis should be a core function that requires commensurate financial and political support so that we can eventually close the data gap as the continent moves towards sustainable development,” he said.
African Union Commission’s Economic Affairs Commissioner, Anthony Mothae Maruping, said while issues being raised by the development agendas seem ambitious, they were doable.
“Let us have faith that we can do it, let us really be committed, let us always have the ‘can do’ attitude as we seek to implement these blueprint agendas to transform our economies, tackle poverty and ensure that there’s human development,” he said.
Mr. Maruping said Africa, in formulating national developmental plans and visions based on Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030, must engage the youth and women in mainstream economic and political activities.
“It is imperative that we have a he-for-she policy, we need women; it’s not to please them. We need all the brains, we need all the energy in order to move our economies forward, in order to actually transform,” he said.
“Let us make sure that we engage youth into economic activity. We keep on talking about youth as if they are a special case, actually it’s us the old who are a special case now, youth are the mainstream because they are the largest group and policies should reflect that.”
African countries have already started implementing Agenda 2063 and 2030. The launch was attended, among others, by ambassadors, government officials, media, UN agency representatives, NGO and civil society representatives.
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