Accelerating Sustainable Development in Africa
Livelihoods, poverty reduction efforts and economic growth in Africa are highly dependent on the quality and availability of natural resources, and are thus extremely vulnerable to degradation of those resources and to climate change. Development efforts hence need to equally embrace economic, social and environmental sustainability as emphasized in the recently adopted ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ as well as ‘Agenda 2063 – The Africa We Want’.
Many countries in Africa have already made important gains towards breaking down the silos among sectors, stakeholders, hierarchies and disciplines – by fostering more coordinated and integrated approaches to development policymaking, planning, monitoring, budgeting and implementation. Several countries have made notable progress since 2005 through their partnership with the Poverty-Environment Initiative of UNDP and UN Environment.
The work that African governments and the Initiative have done together offers many lessons on how to achieve real-world sustainable development and also the pieces of the puzzle that must be put in place to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Africa 2063 goals within national contexts.
Through examples provided in the new publication – Accelerating Sustainable Development in Africa: Country Lessons from Applying Integrated Approaches– we illustrate how policymakers, government staff and development practitioners can start putting in place what the former UN Secretary General called: “a practical twenty-first century development model that connects the dots among the key issues of our time: poverty reduction; job generation; inequality; climate change; environmental stress; water energy and food security.”
Accelerating Sustainable Development in Africa was released at the Sixteenth Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) held from 12 to 16 June 2017 in Libreville, Gabon, under the theme: "Investing in Innovative Environmental Solutions to accelerate implementation of Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063 in Africa". The report was officially launched by Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo, Director and Regional Representative, Africa Office, UN Environment during the SWITCH Africa Green Ministerial Dialogue: “Enabling Green Business Development in Africa”.
The dialogue and the launch event featured the Ministers of Environment from Ethiopia, Ghana and Uganda as well as Mr. Bernard Crabbe from the European Union. Around 50 participants from government ministers, civil society and African entrepreneurs attended the launch event.
In her remarks for the launch, Ms. Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo, Director UN Environment Africa Office, highlighted how the work of the Poverty-Environment Initiative in Africa have been groundbreaking in terms of fostering better collaboration between ministries of environment and ministries of finance and economic and social players a crucial aspect for attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.