MDG Transition Report: Reliable statistics and integrated policy approach key to successful SDG and Agenda 2063 implementation

26/09/2016
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African countries will need better data, statistics, and policy coordination to ensure successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and congruence with the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

This was the consensus of a high-level panel convened on September 21, 2016 in New York on the margins of the United Nations 71st General Assembly to discuss Africa’s development prospects and preside over the launch of the joint MDGs to SDGs Transition Report 2016 – Towards an Integrated and Coherent Approach to Sustainable Development in Africa.

The publication, the last in a series of MDG reports, takes stock of Africa’s performance during the 15-year development campaign and reflects on the challenges and opportunities associated with the dual transition to the new global and continental development agendas adopted in 2015: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063, Africa’s roadmap for development.

The report highlights important strides made by the continent in improving net primary enrolment; enhancing gender equality and empowerment of women; reducing child mortality; combating the spread of HIV and AIDS; and ensuring environmental sustainability.

On the other hand, it calls attention to the partial fulfillment of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) commitments by development partners, raises concern about Africa’s persistently low share of Africa global trade and calls on African Member States to take further steps to reduce maternal deaths and the incidence of extreme poverty.

Currently 42.8 percent of the African population earns less than US $1.90 per day. Based on the most recent data, there are 109 million more people in extreme poverty today than there were in 1990.

To ensure effective implementation of the new global and continental agendas, the 2016 Transition Report highlights the need for countries to strengthen capacities for evidence-based policy-making and to improve institutional coordination to ensure that implementation of the two agendas takes into account the three dimensions of sustainable development in a balanced manner.

Panelists present at the event also included Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary for the UN Economic Commission for Africa; Albéric Kacou, Vice-President, Human Resources and Corporate Services, at the African Development Bank; Jeffrey T. Radebe, Minister in the Presidency of South Africa; Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Secretariat, African Union Commission; Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); Mario Pezzini, Director of the  Development Centre at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); and Ayodele Odusola, Chief Economist, United Nations Development Programme Regional Bureau for Africa.

Reflecting on the recent trends on the MDGs, Carlos Lopes called on member States to “accelerate efforts to diversify their economies and add value to their primary commodities so as to expand decent employment opportunities for their population.”

The African Union Commission noted that “the convergence of the Sustainable Development Goals with Agenda 2063 calls for coherent implementation of both agendas by African Member States”, while Kacou reiterated AfDB’s support for the implementation of the two agendas. Kacou observed that “the Bank’s priorities as reflected in the High 5s provide substantial leverage in a practical sense for the implementation of the SDGs and Agenda 2063.”

Odusola underlined UNDP’s commitment towards “strengthening national capacities, enhancing synergies between and among goals and building coalitions for effective implementation of the two agendas”.

The participants’ other key message is that African countries have already started the hard work of implementing Agenda 2063 and 2030 and that success will require, among others, strengthened capacities for integration of both agendas in national planning frameworks, effective institutional coordination and strong statistical systems to support evidenced based policy-making and follow-up.

Acknowledging the sea change that has occurred in the development landscape and the need to formulate gender-sensitive development policies, UNFPA Executive Director Osotimehin concluded: “We have to contend with the fact that Africa is the only continent where population will continue to grow for another 20 to 30 years. We cannot go forth as a continent without ensuring gender equality.”

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ABOUT THIS REPORT: This publication is the last in a series of MDG reports. It takes stock of Africa’s performance during the 15 year development campaign and reflects on the challenges and opportunities associated with the dual transition to the new global and continental development agendas adopted in 2015: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

Read the full report: http://bit.ly/2cxLMpi

Read the report summary: http://bit.ly/2cPim1Z