Zimbabwe to host Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development

event 1597531 640The UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has announced that the sixth Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) will be held in Zimbabwe on 24-27 February 2020

The forum will provide a platform for peer learning and exchange, especially on regional Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and implementation of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Officials from the ECA met with senior government officials, including labour, public service and social welfare minister, Sekai Nzenza, in the first preparatory meeting towards the successful hosting of the forum, which will be held in the country’s capital Harare.

“This is a very good opportunity for Zimbabwe in the re-engagement drive. The development of economic growth and Vision 2030, where we see the country becoming an upper-middle-class economy by 2030, is very important to us,” the minister added.

She stated that the climate change agenda, in particular, was one of Zimbabwe’s major focus on the SDGs following this year’s devastating drought and Cyclone Idai that destroyed infrastructure worth over a billion dollars in three southern African nations during the rainy season.

Nzenza noted that the forum is coming to Zimbabwe at the right time ‘where we want to really focus on the SDGs’.

Oliver Chinganya, director of the ECA’s African Centre for statistics and officer in charge of the technology, climate change and natural resources management division, led the UNECA team.

“The ARFSD is very important as it helps us take stock of where the continent is in terms of implementing the SDGs. Presently we are not doing very well. We are lacking in many areas. There are a lot of holes, especially when you look at data be it on poverty or climate change. So the 2020 Forum needs to spur ambitious actions to help us deliver on all the goals as Africa,” he explained.

The 2020 ARFSD is intended to be an action-oriented forum for stakeholders to explore, gain insight into, share and agree on sets of concrete and workable actions that will enable the African countries to achieve set targets within the set time.

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