By Zayamu Hassan
The 54 African countries have expressed commitment to fast track the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the continent.
The decision was reached at the Eight Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD 2022) which ended March 5, 2022.
The countries adopted what is popularly christened the Kigali Declaration on good practices and solutions which is aimed at enhancing implementation of the SDGs in Africa.
The declaration reads: “We, African ministers, and senior officials responsible for environment and sustainable development, finance, economic and social development, agriculture, education, justice, statistics, the digital economy, science and technology, heads and members of delegations of the parliaments of African Union member States and experts representing Governments and intergovernmental organizations, the private sector and civil society,
“Gathered online and in-person in Kigali from 3 to 5 March 2022 at the eighth session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, held under the theme of “Building forward better: a green, inclusive and resilient Africa poised to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Agenda 2063” and placed under the high patronage of the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame.
“Expressing our gratitude to the President and Government of Rwanda for having hosted the Forum and having ensured that all the necessary conditions were in place for the successful completion of its work, which was marked by fruitful and high-quality discussions on the monitoring and evaluation of the progress achieved, the exchange of experiences in the area of sustainable development in Africa, and the formulation of key messages aimed at accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want, of the African Union.”
Speaking at the end of the event, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Hanan Morsy, explained that the main purpose of the meeting was to review Africa’s progress and catalyze actions to achieve the 2030 sustainable development goals.
The meeting, according to her, was also meant to achieve consensus on urgent priorities for action, which are captured in the Kigali Declaration to be presented at the high-level political forum in New York.
Ms Morsy noted that through rich interactive debates and experience-sharing, delegates “collectively met the objectives” of the gathering in Kigali.
On way forward, she noted that Africa needs to urgently deliver progress on the five SDGs on which the forum was focused, notably Goal 4 (quality education), Goal 5 (gender equality), Goal 14 (Life Below Water), Goal 15 (Life on Land), Goal 17 (partnerships).
On his part, Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, and ARFSD 2022 Bureau Chair, Uzziel Ndagijimana, called on member states to intensify efforts towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and Africa’s Agenda 2063 “for the benefit of our people or countries.”
He cited the diversity of participation at the forum, the enthusiastic commitment, and the momentum observed during the deliberations, as an assurance that “Africa can achieve its development goals.”
The forum also witnessed the launch of the Alliance of Entrepreneurial Universities in Africa and the African Technology Development and Transfer Network.
Niger and Cote d’Ivoire expressed interest in hosting the next forum, which will take place in West Africa in March 2023. The ARFSD bureau will undertake consultations to decide which of the countries will host the event.
ARFSD 2022 was organised by the ECA together with the government of Rwanda in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank and other United Nations agencies. The forum took place under the theme “Building forward better: A green, inclusive and resilient Africa poised to achieve the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063”