African leaders sit to discuss the future of Africa, highlight meeting point between SDGs and Africa’s agenda 2063


At the ongoing seating of High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development that kicked-off this week, ECA’s Special Advisor on SDGs, Aida Opoku-Mensah, informed the delegates that the SDGs and Africa’s Agenda 2063 “provide an opportunity for Africa to recast its transformation agenda within the framework of sustainable development.” Highlighting some levels of congruence between Agenda 2063 and the SDGs.

In her talk, “she discussed a number of efforts underway to harness the synergies of both agendas. The result, for which she said, will be a synergy of the global sustainable development goals together with Africa’s own development aspirations.”

Also, “In her contribution to a session on the key drivers of change,” it is reported that “Ms. Opoku-Mensah highlighted the efforts to increase intra-African trade through the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area whose negotiations are ongoing.”

Information filtered by the Press confirmed that Ms. Opoku-Mensah stressed the need for Africa to “invest in human capital, …through harnessing the youth bulge,” by “increasing manufacturing” strength “in the context of industrialization, managing natural resources and exploring the potential and advantages of the green economy.”

According to the report, “Ms. Opoku-Mensah outlined a number of key implementation challenges, such as infrastructure gaps.”  On this, she said those gaps are “hurting development.” She further noted “that quality infrastructure is a prerequisite for trade,” whether “manufacturing” or “industrialization.”

During her presentation and before her closing remarks, Ms. Opoku-Mensah “gave the example of air transport in Africa and stated that both shipping and travel are extremely low and that in 2015, only 45 million passengers travelled by air in Africa.” This, said “is 23 times less than in East-Asia and the Pacific.”

On the case of “statistical weaknesses and data gaps that limit reporting on progress, she said that only 37.8 percent of the 230 SDG indicators have full data” Adding that  “limited disaggregation and timeliness of data adversely affect progress reporting and impact evaluation.”

Therefore, Ms. Opoku-Mensah, according to the press release from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), as published and distributed by APO called on “African governments to prioritize investments in statistical capacity and tools for policy design.” She seized the opportunity to stress “the need for Africa to strengthen evidence-based policy formulation and sequencing; as well as assessing impact to optimize resources.”

In her conclusion, she made say that “relevant toolkits are required for the localization and integration of the development initiatives into national development plans.”










Correspondent: Ridwan A. Olayiwola

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