Stronger partnerships crucial for successful SDG implementation in Africa

Africa covid zimmThe Bureau of the sixth Session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) has met and adopted an action plan establishing important priorities for implementing crucial messages

With the coronavirus pandemic raging on the continent, members of the bureau recognised the unprecedented and serious challenges being caused by COVID-19 and noted with grave concern the growing loss of human lives and huge negative economic and social impacts of the crisis on the continent.

Africa was likely to be disproportionately affected by the pandemic given the region’s underlying vulnerabilities.

The Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA) analysis on the impact of the pandemic estimates that economic growth on the continent is expected to drop from 3.2 per cent to 1.8 per cent. As of March 2020, a decline of 1.4 percentage points is expected from the effects of COVID-19. Africa’s finance ministers have called for an initial support package of US$100bn in 2020 to cushion their nations from impacts of the pandemic.

The bureau agreed that COVID-19 reinforced the need for stronger global and regional partnerships if the sustainable development goals are to be fully achieved and to build resilience to social, economic and environmental shocks and calamities.

Member States and other actors were urged to take urgent and collective measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, provide the necessary support to affected communities and address the social and economic implications of the pandemic.

Bureau members, Zimbabwe (Chair), the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Liberia and Morocco, pledged their full commitment to expand outreach, and to take and promote concrete actions in following-up and implementing the outcomes of the sixth ARFSD.

The action plan, which will be implemented with the support of ECA, regional organisations and the rest of the UN Development system, recognises the challenges and need for quality and timely data and statistics for evidence-based planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting on the 2030 Agenda and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

The Bureau is expected to finalise by August, the strategic framework of the Solidarity Fund for Statistical Development in Africa, as agreed in the Marrakech Declaration of the Fifth session of the regional forum; and develop a regional strategy to operationalise the Victoria Falls Declaration on the Decade of Action and delivery for sustainable development and key messages of the sixth regional forum by November 2020.

 

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