Regional Events Identify Accelerators for Africa’s Decade of Action

The sixth session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD 2020) was convened from the 24th to the 27th of February 2020, in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. It was the first regional conference to take place under the UN75 reform process.

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The Forum had as its theme: “2020 - 2030: A Decade to Deliver a Transformed and Prosperous Africa through the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063”. The event followed-up on the 33rd African Union Summit with its corresponding topic: “Silencing the Guns: Creating conducive conditions for Africa’s Development”.

The underlying goal of the Regional Forum was to assess the progress of all 17 SDGs across Africa, clustered according to the “5 P’s”: people, prosperity, planet, peace and partnerships. At the end of the conference it was concluded that there is a regional tendency to lag behind international standards of sustainable development. To identify relevant obstacles, in-dept discussions concerning the 17 voluntary national reviews (VNRs) carried out by African countries so far were conducted. For the first time voluntary local reviews (VLRs) were considered as well. Several core issues were identified:

  1. There is a need for access to quality data to set up precise monitoring measures;
  2. Voluntary national reporting should consider local reviews;
  3. To promote the acceleration of transformation processes in Africa, science, technology and innovation (STI) efforts need to be supported;
  4. Local stakeholders should be supported to connect much stronger with the UN development system (youth, action groups, municipal agents, etc.).

Additional topics addressed at the Conference concerned the impact of climate change as well as the empowerment of women. Efforts for a regional positioning at the 2020 UN Climate Conference were presented. The African Women Leadership Fund was celebrated as a notable step toward female empowerment.

The outcomes of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development are documented in the“Victoria Falls Declaration on the UN Decade of Action and Delivery for Sustainable Development in Africa”.

For more information access the full article here. Find more information on the UN75 process here.