NEPAD Meeting Calls for Aligning Central Africa’s Development, 2030 Agenda
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During the ‘Conclave to Revitalise UN’s Support to African Union’s (AU) New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Programme in Central Africa,’ participants called for aligning the third Common Indicative programme (CIP III) for Central Africa’s development with the African Union’s Agenda 2063’s aspirations “that match several elements of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)".

The 'MDGs to Agenda 2063/SDGs Transition Report 2016' reviews Africa’s performance on the MDGs and assesses the opportunities and challenges associated with the transition to the SDGs.

7 December 2016: Participants at a meeting on the African Union’s (AU) New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) adopted an 18-month road map to populate and kick-start the third Common Indicative programme (CIP III) for Central Africa’s development. They also called for aligning CIP III with the AU’s Agenda 2063 aspirations, which “match several elements of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” CIP II expires in December 2016.

The “Conclave” meeting took place from 6-7 December 2016, in Libreville, Gabon, within the framework of the seventh session of the Sub-regional Coordination Mechanism (SRCM) of the UN System-wide support to the AU’s NEPAD programme in Central Africa. It was convened by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in collaboration with the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).

The SRCM seeks to bring together Regional Economic Communities (RECs), intergovernmental organizations and UN agencies to identify opportunities for joint planning and implementation of developmental programmes at the sub-regional level. SRCMs are operational in all the five sub-regions of Africa (Eastern and Southern Africa, Central and Western Africa, and Northern Africa) and are at various stages of implementation. The RECs are sub-regional bodies for economic integration in Africa.

During the Conclave meeting, the RECs expressed their interest in better appropriating both Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This was supported by officials of sub-regional bodies, the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and their UN system partners. The representatives also stressed the importance of better understanding the 2063 and the 2030 Agendas.

According to the event’s press release, Ahmad Allam-Mi, ECCAS Secretary General, called for an improved trade system between countries of the Central African sub-region, noting that the operationalizing the ECCAS Free Trade Area should be a priority for CIP III. Antonio Pedro, UNECA, and Eddie Justin Mbanza, Central Africa Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC), outlined the need for a convergence of efforts by UN agencies, other partners and sub-regional bodies to move forward with current development agendas adapted to the needs of Central Africa.

Pedro also highlighted a report, titled ‘Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to Agenda 2063/Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Transition Report 2016: Towards an Integrated and Coherent Approach to Sustainable Development in Africa.’ He said the report will enable Africa to continue with the unfinished business of the MDGs. The report reviews Africa’s performance on the MDGs and assesses the opportunities and challenges associated with the transition to the SDGs. Produced jointly by the AUC, ECA, AfDB and the UN Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Africa (UNDP-RBA), the report notes that implementing the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 will require effective messaging about their content, coherent integration of both agendas into national planning frameworks, and an integrated results framework for follow-up. It adds that institutional arrangements for implementing sustainable development must be anchored by strong coordination.

The report shows that: several African countries are on track to meet the poverty target, but the number of people in extreme poverty is growing; significant progress has been made on reducing hunger in all sub-regions, with the exception of North Africa where rates are moderate but have not changed much since 1990; access to primary education continues to improve, but the quality of education remains weak; and gender parity declines with transitions to higher levels of schooling. The report also indicates that: from 1990-2015, representation of women in national parliaments has almost tripled, rising steadily from 8% to 22%; Africa witnessed unprecedented declines in child mortality during the period 1990-2015; all African countries reduced their maternal mortality ratio between 1990 and 2015 except Zimbabwe and South Africa; and there is an accelerated decline in the incidence and prevalence of HIV/AIDS.

On carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the report shows that Africa’s emissions continue to be negligible compared to the rest of the world, but more than half of African countries experienced an increase in their CO2 emissions, with the exception of some countries including Libya and Gabon, which made notable strides in decreasing them. In addition, the report notes that: over 50% of African countries achieved by 2014 the target of having at least 10% of their territorial and marine protected areas; progress in improving access to safe drinking water and sanitation is slow; the share of Africa’s exports in global merchandise exports declined from 3.3 to 3.0% from 2013-2014, partly as a result of unfavorable movements in global commodity prices; and official development assistance (ODA) is declining and aid dependence continues. [UNECA Press Release on Meeting’s Announcement] [UNECA Press Release on Meeting’s Outcomes] [MDGs to Agenda 2063/ SDGs Transition Report 2016: Towards an Integrated and Coherent Approach to Sustainable Development in Africa] [UNECA Twitter Feed]

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