Africa is making plodding progress towards the Goals

Date:

Africa is making very slow progress towards the Goals.

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • Tuesday, March 07, 2023
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • According to a senior United Nations economist, Africa is progressing on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals compared to other regions and is regressing on several development metrics.

  • That slew of external factors has resulted in wide disparities in African countries’ progress on the SDGs, with North African countries performing above average in terms of clean water, sanitation, and electricity supply. At the same time, the bulk of those in Sub-Saharan Africa lag.

  • As much as they must do to solve the current crises, they must also remain focused on achieving the SDG Agendas to find long-term and permanent answers to their challenges.

  • Economic prosperity, social stability, (and) peace depend on the government’s skill and planning.

  • “Elkiraika stated that progress on SDG 17 is critical, as is a commitment to strengthening implementation mechanisms and revitalising the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.

According to a senior United Nations economist, Africa is progressing on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals compared to other regions and is regressing on several development metrics.

Adam Elhiraika, director of the macroeconomic policy division at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), provided a pessimistic assessment of Africa’s progress towards achieving the goals, which are a set of seventeen interconnected development and poverty-reduction goals launched by the UN General Assembly in 2015 and later adopted as Agenda 2030.

“Issues of funds, inadequate planning, (and) lack of commitment on achieving the SDGs by most African governments has led to regression on SDGs in many countries. This is concerning. “There have been many coups, many contested elections, and instability, which has hampered development and the implementation process,” Elhiraika remarked at the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (AFRSD-9) Niamey, Niger.

“Furthermore, the effects of the Covid-19 epidemic, Ukraine’s war, (and) drought have caused governments to redirect their resources to health, food security, social issues, (and) economic stimulation, and lose focus on fulfilling the SDGs,” he said.

That slew of external factors has resulted in wide disparities in African countries’ progress on the SDGs, with North African countries performing above average in terms of clean water, sanitation, and electricity supply, while the bulk of those in Sub-Saharan Africa lag.

According to him, just 30% of Sub-Saharan Africa has access to clean and safe drinking water sources, compared to a global average of 74%. Africa’s manufacturing share remains at 10%, compared to a global average of over 40%.

Return to the drawing board

Elhiraika suggested that only aggressive policymaking can halt the trend and ensure implementation by 2030.

“Governments have to return to the drawing board, reassess their strategies, objectives and plan to accomplish the SDGs. Auditing and decision-making must be taken seriously. Many countries are so preoccupied with the crises that they have forgotten about the SDGs. As much as they must do to solve the current crises, they must also remain focused on achieving the SDG Agendas to find long-term and permanent answers to their challenges. Economic prosperity, social stability, (and) peace depend on the government’s skill and planning.”

Elkiraika stated that progress on SDG 17 is critical, as is a commitment to strengthening implementation mechanisms and revitalising the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.

“SDG 17 is critical since it addresses financial difficulties. Many low-income countries are having difficulty mobilising resources. Financing is the only option to alleviate the aftershocks of the Covid-19 pandemic (and) climate change. African governments must improve domestic resource mobilisation through private financing and long-term public borrowing. “There is also a need for increased efforts in strategic development collaboration, particularly expanded South-South cooperation and the issue of impact bonds,” he stated.

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