The sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa (SDGC/A) was launched last week in Kigali bringing together 200 delegates from across Africa representing the private sector, academic institutions, multilateral organisations and government.
The SDGC/A will provide technical support, advice and expertise to governments, private sector, civil society, and academic institutions to accelerate the implementation of the agenda across Africa.
Officiating at the launch, President Paul Kagame reminded participants of the inclusive and result-driven aspect in the creation of the centre. "This centre will serve as an important focal point for advocacy and coordination. But like the SDGs themselves this institution is a tool to help us get what we really want, and that is results." President Kagame said.
Echoed by SDGC/A Co-Chair Mr. Aliko Dangote and Director General of the centre Dr. Belay Begashaw, President Kagame called on the private sector, civil society and academia for their role in the centre’s mission by accelerating progress towards the SDGs through engaging in research, policy and technical work among others.
"These global goals should not be seen as an external agenda, but as an integrated part of a country’s development vision." President Kagame said.
Through panels, the conference also discussed some of the centre's current initiatives, including; building monitoring, evaluation and reporting systems for monitoring the progress of African countries towards the SDGs, development financing for SDGs platforms and more.
For Dr. Belay Begashaw, Africa, this time around has made an unprecedented move to chart its own path on global issues by establishing its own capacity to support, follow up and guide its citizens’ efforts towards implementing the SDGs.
"If we are to meet the SDGs, we need to share stories about what works and what doesn’t, develop creative ways to finance projects that will aid in development, and combine our knowledge in order to multiply it." Dr. Begashaw said.
The centre unveiled some of its work accomplished to date such as the Africa 2030 Report, which it has been working on for many months, and will hopefully serves as a blueprint for where Africa can be by 2030 raising the focus from reducing poverty to economic prosperity within planetary boundaries that leaves no one behind.
The SDG centre for Africa (SDGC/A) started its operations in July 2016 established by leaders on the continent as a home grown African initiative, championing the implementation of the SDGs along the principles of AU's 2063 Agenda.