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UN Deputy Chief highlights need for accelerated action for Africa to attain SDG & Agenda 2063 goals

depchiefVictoria Falls, Zimbabwe, February 25, 2020 (ECA) – The United Nations and the African Union need to do more to ensure all Africans see their futures in the sustainable development goals and the goals of Africa’s Agenda 2063, United Nations Deputy Secretary General, Amina Mohammed said Tuesday.

In remarks to the Sixth Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD 2020), Ms. Mohammed said with the absolute number of people living in poverty on the continent increasing to 428 million; with 22.8 million people severely food insecure; increasing income inequalities; and soaring youth unemployment, accelerating the pace and scale of collective action was the only solution.

“The scale of the task before us is immense, but the success of the SDGs depends on the success of Africa’s Agenda 2063,” she said.

“Just as China’s remarkable achievements in lifting its people out of poverty contributed to major advances under the Millennium Development Goals, so can Agenda 2063 have similar impact on the SDGs.”

She said the nexus between climate change, hunger, terrorism, conflict and displacement was causing havoc and human suffering in many countries, not least in the Sahel and the Horn.

“It represents a tremendous challenge to the continent,” Ms. Mohammed said.

Gender inequality, the UN Chief said, was costing sub-Saharan Africa $95 billion every year in lost opportunities.

“Success is possible, but only if we generate more ambition, more mobilization and more solutions,” she said.

“Since no country is on track to deliver by 2030, every country must increase its ambition. That starts with national plans, policies, budgets and institutions that are commensurate with what it will take to deliver universal access to quality social services and an economy that provides decent jobs for all.”

She said with a staggering three quarters of Africa’s population under the age of 35, ‘young people must be a central focus – not just in terms of economic inclusion but as the drivers of the change that these Agendas demand’.

“To deliver change on the scale that our Agendas demand, major increase in international investment and support for African solutions are needed urgently,” Ms. Mohammed.

For his part Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the country remained committed to fully implementing political, economic, legislative reforms.

He said the nation’s Vision 2030 addresses aspirations highlighted by the SDGs and Agenda 2063 and seeks a development path that seeks to leave no one behind.

“As Zimbabwe we are convinced that the interlinked threats and challenges to sustainable development confronting our continent require everyone to share experiences, responsibility and to contribute to the attainment of common vision and implementation framework,” the President said.

African Union Deputy Chairperson, Thomas Quartey Kwesi, said conflict was one of the major challenges facing Africa.

“Without peace security and stability, prosperity in Africa will continue to remain elusive. Without peace and security, the commitment to leave no one behind will remain not only and commitment, in other words, mere talk again,” he said, adding the AU’s theme to silence the guns was imperative as a result.

“The potential consequences for us Africans, and for our teeming youth will if it continues that way will be too dire to contemplate. This really is our challenge.”

The forum is being held under the theme; 2020-2030: A Decade to Deliver a Transformed and Prosperous Africa through the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.

 

Issued by:

Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia
Tel: +251 11 551 5826
E-mail: eca-info@un.org