The United Nations and the African Union need to do more to ensure all Africans see their futures in the sustainable development goals and the goals of Africa’s Agenda 2063, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed said Tuesday.
In remarks at the official opening of the Sixth Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD 2020) in Zimbabwe, Mohammed said with the absolute number of people living in poverty on the continent had increased to 428 million threatening 22.8 million people with severe food insecurity. Accordingly, the situation has increased income inequalities and youth unemployment.
“The scale of the task before us is immense, but the success of the SDGs depends on the success of Africa’s Agenda 2063,” she said, stressing that accelerating the pace and scale of collective action was the only solution.
“Just as China’s remarkable achievements in lifting its people out of poverty contributed to major advances under the Millennium Development Goals, Agenda 2063 can have similar impact on the SDGs.”
Mohammed said the nexus between climate change, hunger, terrorism, conflict and displacement was causing havoc and human suffering in many countries, not least in the Sahel and the Horn.
In addition, stressed Mohammed, gender inequality was costing sub-Saharan Africa $95 billion every year in lost opportunities.
“Success is possible, but only if we generate more ambition, more mobilisation and more solutions,” she said.
African Union Deputy Chairperson, Thomas Quartey Kwesi, said conflict was one of the major challenges facing Africa.
“Without peace security and stability, prosperity in Africa will continue to remain elusive. Without peace and security, the commitment to leave no one behind will remain mere talk again,” he said,
“The potential consequences for us Africans, and for our teeming youth if things continue this way will be too dire to contemplate. This really is our challenge.”
The forum is being held on the theme; 2020-2030: A Decade to Deliver a Transformed and Prosperous Africa through the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.