The UN Economic Commission for Africa held its 2022 regional forum on sustainable development.
The meeting outcome called for the Glasgow Climate Pact to establish an ambitious and reasonable price for carbon, aligned with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
The African forum was the first in a series of five regional gatherings for each group of UN Member States, in preparation for the HLPF in July 2022.
The UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) held its 2022 regional forum on sustainable development. The meeting resulted in adoption of the Kigali Declaration on ‘good practices and solutions to enhance implementation of the sustainable development goals in Africa,’ which will be presented at the July 2022 meeting of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).
The eighth session of the Forum convened from 3-5 March 2022, in Kigali, Rwanda. Participations reviewed progress towards the SDGs, shared their national and subnational action plans, and exchanged recommendations on advancing the 2030 Agenda and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
At the Forum’s opening the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, called on African countries to use the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063 as a blueprint to overcome the challenges that have reversed Africa’s development gains. He urged countries to prioritize domestic resource mobilization to finance their health care systems and other areas of development.
UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said three frameworks are the best blueprint for facing current challenges: Agenda 2063, the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, and the Secretary-General’s report on ‘Our Common Agenda.’ Mohammed said SDGs’ fate “will be decided in Africa,” and the region must have adequate financial resources to make needed investments in the future. She highlighted UNECA’s Liquidity and Sustainability Facility, a partnership with the private sector to facilitate sustainable investment. She also called for re-channeling special drawing rights to countries most in need and investing them in universal social protection and green aspects of the economy.
UNECA Executive Secretary Vera Songwe noted that Africa is “protecting the world” by sequestering three years’ worth of carbon emissions, without which global temperature rise would have already surpassed 1.5 degrees Celsius. Africa should be compensated for this, she argued, through market mechanisms: “we must put a price to carbon because we have been good, because we have protected our environment.” At the end of the Africa RFSD, the outcome called for the Glasgow Climate Pact to establish an ambitious and reasonable price for carbon, aligned with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. This would allow developing countries in Africa and elsewhere to mobilize adequate financial resources.
Also during the ARFSD an expert panel convened on measuring local progress towards the SDGs and Agenda 2063. Among the key messages, a mayor from The Gambia said countries that “have decided to devolve power to councils and decentralize their governments and enable councils to deliver services are further ahead in the delivery of the SDGs.”
Governments attending the Forum adopted the Kigali Declaration, which:
- urges African countries to link mutually reinforcing policies for sustainable development and COVID-19 recovery;
- calls on African countries to build strong and resilience national statistical systems by leveraging new tools, innovative solutions, and technology, including through enhanced partnerships with other stakeholders; and
- highlights the need for countries to utilize the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) to support the development of regional value chains, for example regarding the minerals used in the production of batteries and electric vehicles.
This ARFRSD is an annual multi-stakeholder platform organized by UNECA and the host government (this year, Rwanda) in collaboration with the AU Commission, the African Development Bank (AfDB), and other UN entities. The Forum was preceded by a workshop of Major Groups and other Stakeholders, the fourth African Science, Technology and Innovation Forum, and a workshop on voluntary national reviews (VNRs) and voluntary local reviews (VLRs).
In May 2022, the President of the UN General Assembly and the President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will convene an event on implementing commitments for the development of Africa.
The African forum was the first in a series of five regional gatherings for each group of UN Member States, in preparation for the HLPF in July 2022. [ARFSD 8 website] [DSG remarks] [UNECA story on local government panel] [UNECA story on Kigali declaration]