Reflection on the 6th African Regional Forum on Sustainable development
Theme: A decade to deliver a transformed and prosperous Africa through 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063
The 6th African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development provided major groups, governments, private sector and the United Nations system an opportunity to review progress, share experiences and lessons learnt as well as build consensus on the recommendations to accelerate the implementation of Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063 of the African Union. Although progress has been made, Africa still remains a region with high levels of poverty and gaps in access to quality social and economic services.
One worrying aspect is the data insufficiency, which was made evident during the review. This poses a particular challenge as disaggregated data is key in ascertaining the level of investment required in the various heterogeneous populations within countries and contexts. It is important for States to recognize that the successful achievement of the SDGs requires that all populations are included within the implementation framework. The current data indicates that no African country is on track towards realizing Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063. This is especially concerning as the data collected is representative of the general population, one can only imagine how far back the marginalized communities in different contexts are. In line with the ‘leave no one behind’ tagline, it is imperative for States to adopt a Human Rights based approach in the implementation of the SDGs to ensure all marginalized persons are direct beneficiaries of the efforts.
In the decade of action, there is a need for a multi sectoral approach in data generation with civil society organizations stepping up in their contribution towards data generation. The role and responsibilities of the private sector should not be ignored and States should meaningfully invest in disaggregated data monitoring systems which are inclusive of all peoples’ lived realities. In cases where national sovereignty is affecting the attainment of Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063, it is important for States to ratify the various AU and UN instruments which are linked to the achievement of SDGs. This decade requires radical and transformative actions in the implementation of both agendas. States should recognize the need for the harmonization of policies locally to reflect a human rights based approach, including the decriminalization of sex work and people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity as this is key to data generation.