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Reviews of national and local SDG progress can help refocus efforts on sustainable development in Africa

22 April, 2024
Reviews of national and local SDG progress can help refocus efforts on sustainable development in Africa

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 22 April, 2024 – serious and concerted efforts are needed to get back-on-track towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and data-driven reviews of progress and challenges that consult local stakeholders are an important tool in laying the groundwork for SDG progress. These messages were echoed by member States, stakeholders and regional development partners at the 2024 Regional Preparatory Workshop on Voluntary and National Reviews. Every year ECA convenes the regional workshop, in partnership with UN-Habitat, APRM, DESA and OSAA, as a pre-event to the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development.

Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa Cristina Duarte opened the meeting with a call to action on addressing instability in the region, and focusing on persisting challenges in financing for development, energy and food security. In her remarks on behalf of ECA Executive Secretary Claver Gatete, Mama Keita, Director of ECA’s Sub-Regional Office for Eastern Africa, noted that African countries have been enthusiastic in undertaking multiple VNRs, and that by the end of 2024 every country on the continent will have completed at least one. Participants were also welcomed by Dunstan Balaba, Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister of Uganda, who shared the experiences in Uganda in domesticating the SDGs, and linking National and Local Reviews.

As signatories to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, member States are required to regularly report on their policies and frameworks in place to foster progress towards the SDGs. Meanwhile, African countries also have a regional vision for sustainable development, Agenda 2063 of the African Union, which more accurately reflects the region’s context, specific needs and aspirations. The region is therefore in a unique position to harness two guiding frameworks for its sustainable development path.

At the sub-national level, Voluntary Local Reviews allow cities and municipalities to reflect on their own priorities and address what is needed on-the-ground. VLRs also provide a means for local stakeholders and governments to inform national development planning and VNRs. ECA and partners provide support to these reviews, including through the Africa Regional VLR Guidelines.

Following the workshop, the 15 African countries preparing VNRs will finalize their reports and present them at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York in July. The workshop has also recorded the region’s challenges and successes with the SDGs, to share with the global community at this year’s Summit for the Future in September.

 Issued by:
Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 551 5826