Brookings Report Reflects on Africa’s SDG Progress, Top Priorities to 2030
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Never before has Africa been "better primed for trade, investment and mutually beneficial partnerships,” the report finds.

It concludes that African countries must urgently implement the SDGs, especially because many challenges will become harder to contend with if not addressed now.

The report offers strategies for African governments to build and sustain peace, end corruption, empower women, prepare young people for future jobs , and invest in sectors that can grow and create employment.

The Brookings Institution released a report that assesses the top priorities for Africa between now and 2030, including areas where it should urgently make progress towards specific SDG targets. The report explores key trends and offers recommendations for African and international stakeholders to create and support a sustainable and prosperous continent, while sustaining economic growth and broadening its benefits.

The report released on 8 January 2020 titled, ‘Foresight Africa’ – priorities for 2020-2030, in the context of SDGs and Agenda 2063,’ is a special decade-oriented edition of Brookings’ ‘Foresight Africa’ series of reports, commentaries and events.

The authors describe “shared energy and excitement around Africa’s potential” for improving the livelihoods of all under the SDGs and the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063.  The report declares that “never before has the region been better primed for trade, investment and mutually beneficial partnerships.” Africa is home to seven of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies, and economic growth across Africa is expected to continue to outperform other regions through at least the first half of the decade. In addition, regional integration and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) is progressing, business environments are improving and transformational technologies are spreading.

Despite this potential, the report cautions that obstacles remain, from gaps in good and inclusive governance, a growing youth labor force and the need for job creation. In addition, the report observes, climate change has the potential to reverse the continent’s development gains, threatens food security and nutrition, and increases the risk of natural disasters.

The report offers strategies for African governments to build and sustain peace, end corruption, empower women, prepare young people for the jobs of the future, and invest in sectors that can grow and create jobs. The report suggests the global community can support efforts to strengthen institutions and promote good governance. 

In sub-Saharan Africa, 18 out of 44 countries will get less than halfway to the SDG targets by 2030.

On the SDGs, the report finds that progress on implementing the SDGs has been uneven across countries, goals and targets. All sub-Saharan African countries are anticipated to make some progress towards the SDGs by 2030, but 18 out of 44 countries are predicted to get less than halfway to the targets by 2030. The region has made progress on several SDG 3 (good health and well-being) targets, including under-five mortality (SDG target 3.2), and the report suggests that Africa could meet this target with an intensified and accelerated response.

African countries are also likely to meet targets on primary school enrollment if current efforts are sustained, but progress has fallen on the net enrollment rate for lower secondary education (SDG target 4.1). Although the region’s countries have increased access to clean drinking water (SDG target 6.1) and access to electricity (SDG target 7.1), population growth and urbanization are anticipated to increase the need for infrastructure and services. Poverty (SDG 1) and hunger (SDG 2) remain challenges.

Per the report, reasons for hope include the strong alignment between Agenda 2063 and the SDGs, and that 90% of African countries have mainstreamed the SDGs into their national development plans.

The report concludes African countries must urgently implement the SDGs, especially because many challenges will become harder to contend with if not addressed now. 

To ensure progress, the report recommends, inter alia: addressing data gaps, including to improve planning and decision-making; developing reporting and accountability mechanisms; identifying opportunities to scale up social inclusiveness; changing mindsets, rather than doing new things the old way; improving coordination among interventions and sectors; and increasing resource mobilization and financing for the SDGs. [Brookings Press Release] [Publication: Foresight Africa

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