The topic of the plenary will be the topic of the event:
“Africa and the SDGs – What will it take for Africa to effectively implement the SDGs?”
The aim of the plenary is to deliberate and develop an Africa agenda for implementing the SDGs, generally and especially as they relate to the four thematic clusters. A distinguished guest will deliver the keynote address, speaking of the challenges of implementing the SDGs in Africa (financing, institutional arrangements, partnerships, policy harmonisation, phasing, differential prioritisation, regional coordination, etc.) and broadly about the four cluster themes identified. Following the keynote address, an eminent panel of decision-makers and opinion-leaders will be invited to provide more detailed remarks; each panellist will be invited to remark on a specific question (see below). The plenary will then welcome contributions and questions from the floor.
The remarks to be made are as follows:
- How should Africa approach the SDGs?
For the Continent the major challenge is whether it is able to realistically reach all of the SDG targets. How can Africa respond to this challenge?
- Are there issues specific to Africa that are not adequately addressed by the SDGs? How can efforts and commitments to the implementation of the SDGs be maintained in today’s turbulent world?
The current world is a stormy place. A serious refugee crisis is unfolding alongside civil wars and global terrorism. Each of these challenges have the potential to undermine progress in meeting SDG targets, and each requires significant resources to address which may ‘compete’ with resources available for the implementation of SDGs globally, and in Africa. Furthermore, the SDGs and the Agenda 2063 contain differences, how can the issues that are important to Africa compliment the SDGs?
- What lessons must be learned from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)?
MDG performance was, with several lessons that can and should be learned from the stronger performers, both in the overall MDG targets and with specific goals and targets. What can be learned from the stronger performers? One of the major challenges of the SDGs will be the logistical challenges of monitoring. SDSN estimates that, for monitoring alone, it will cost 1 Billion USD per year for the next 15 years for 77 low-income countries to bring their statistical systems to adequate levels, and that even in the most advanced countries it could take up to two years to compile all of the statistical data required for monitoring the SDGs. To complicate monitoring further, the SDGs focus on the ‘quality’ of change… How can this be measured to allow for broad and consistent comparison and tracking? Beyond monitoring, what other ‘best practices’ can be drawn from the MDGs?