Road to 2018 HLPF: Integrated strategies required for resilient structural transformation in Africa

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 26 June 2018 (ECA) – Following the successful Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) that was held in Senegal in May, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and its partners in the region are preparing for the 2018 High Level Political Forum on sustainable development that will be held in New York in July to discuss progress registered so far in the implementation of the SDGs.

The regional forum, which was attended by high-level representatives of ECA member States, inter-governmental bodies, United Nations and specialized agencies, major groups and other international organizations, looked at challenges, progress and actions required for Africa to step up the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the continent’s 50-year development plan, Agenda 2063.

At the end of the forum, held under the theme “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies", participants put together a set of key messages that will constitute Africa’s regional input to the 2018 high-level political forum.

Fatima Denton, Director of the Special Initiatives Division at the ECA, says the key messages will be used for policy dialogue, policymaking and implementation at national, regional and global levels, towards the realization of the goals contained in both Agendas.

An in-depth review was carried out of selected SDGs for the high-level political forum, along with Goal 17 and the corresponding goals contained in Agenda 2063, under the subthemes:

  • Clean water and sanitation;
  • Affordable and clean energy;
  • Sustainable cities and communities;
  • Responsible consumption and production;
  • Life on land;
  • Strengthening the means of implementation and the partnership for sustainable development.

The forum agreed resilient structural transformation in Africa, in line with the 2030 and 2063 Agendas, required integrated strategies and approaches.

Such approaches should mainstream and prioritize climate change-proofing, disaster risk reduction and the value of natural capital in key national development frameworks, including strategies, plans and budgets.

In that regard, integrating green and low carbon growth into such frameworks is important, they agreed.

“The momentum to ensure climate change adaptation and mitigation should be increased alongside the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals,” participants said in their final document.

“The implementation of nationally determined contributions should therefore be integrated and prioritized in a joint manner with policies and programmes to achieve the Goals.”

Effective land use and spatial planning policies, backed by legislation and governance mechanisms required, are essential to ensure the evolving urban form of Africa’s growing cities is sustainable and resilient, they said.

Curbing urban sprawl is a core priority in this regard, given the impact of rising costs of service and infrastructure provision; the dependence on car-based travel; limited access to transport, and thus social and economic opportunities; and threats to agricultural land and ecosystems.

Within cities, the provision of public spaces is a core element to ensure inclusive urbanization, improved productivity and stable economic values of urban land.

The high-level political forum on sustainable development will be held from 9 July, to 18 July, 2018 under the theme;"Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies".

The set of goals to be reviewed in depth are;

Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development


Issued by:

Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 551 5826