Report: Africa faces issues in achieving 2030 agenda

 Africa needs to address major issues such as inadequate data, poor inclusiveness, slow growth that could jeopardise its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, said a report launched last Friday.

   In 2015, a United Nations summit adopted an agenda that comprises 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including ending extreme poverty, preserving the environment and promoting economic growth.

   Large data gaps continue to predominate, and only 40 per cent of the indicators in the global SDG data framework are accompanied by data in Africa, said the report.

   The document, titled ‘Africa 2030: SDGs Three-Year Reality Check’, was compiled by Kigali-based Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa.

   The report, which monitors Africa’s progress towards the SDGs and explores the structural challenges Africa face, was launched by Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, at an international conference on SDGs’ implementation in Africa, which ran from Wednesday to Friday.

   Even where data exists, much is outdated or incomparable across countries, the report said.

   Economic growth in Africa remains subdued, relative to socio-economic inclusion, which is the second main issue, it said.

   Africa’s economic growth has plateaued or failed to achieve its potential in recent years, and many believe it has not been inclusive or consistent with the people and prosperity pillars of the SDGs, the report said.

   Growth remains slower than the SDG 8 target of at least seven per cent a year, it said, adding that social inclusion was in part constrained by rapid population growth, which outstrips most of the SDG progress in key areas.

   Two-thirds of African countries are in the “low human development” category of United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Index and they continue to struggle with education and healthcare, according to the report.

   Another issue is that the global SDG framework, though already in place, lacks fully fledged implementation and accountability mechanisms, the report said.

   The formulation and implementation of SDGs over the last three years reveals gaps and loose ends that are either shallowly addressed or entirely skipped over, it said, adding that there is a continued lack of clarity on accountability mechanisms for SDGs.

   Financing for SDGs has fallen short of targets and the funding gap is particularly large in Africa, read the report.

   The SDG financing gap for Africa is estimated between 500 billion U.S. dollars and 1.2 trillion dollars annually, it said. –Xinhua

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