The 2017 Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) ended in Addis Ababa on Friday with participants adopting an outcome document to take to the 2017 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which will be convened in New York in July under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
The outcome document speaks to Africa’s desire to stimulate sustainable growth on the continent, create employment and eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions, among others.
The ARFSD, which was held under the theme; “Ensuring inclusive and sustainable growth and prosperity for all” tracks progress in the implementation of the 17 SDGs that are at the core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as the global fight to eradicate poverty and promote prosperity continues.
In Africa, the SDGs are being implemented concurrently and in an integrated manner with the First 10-year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063, Africa’s 50-year strategic framework for socio-economic transformation which seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.
The theme of the third session of the regional forum was premised on a number of considerations and trends relating to poverty eradication in Africa. Key among these being the realization that economic growth in Africa has been inadequate to eradicate poverty.
In addition, the growth generated so far has largely been unequal.
Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in Africa therefore hinge on fostering inclusive and sustainable growth, participants at the high-level forum agreed in their outcome document.
Attainment of gender equality and women’s empowerment and consideration of youth in development planning and implementation are critical dimensions of inclusion in the region, they added.
The forum undertook in-depth review of the implementation of the cluster of Sustainable Development Goals for the 2017 HLPF under the sub-themes of eradicating all forms of poverty in Africa; ending hunger and achieving food security in Africa; ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all; promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; building resilient infrastructure and promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and innovation; and conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
The ECA, the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and other United Nation agencies organized the 2017 ARFSD in preparation for the 2017 HLPF which provides political leadership, guidance and recommendations for sustainable development to Member States, including follow-ups and reviewing progress in the implementation of sustainable development commitments.