The UN Economic Commission for Africa published an initial report that takes stock of SDG implementation in Maghreb countries in North Africa (Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia).
The report highlights efforts taken to date, but underscores that the overall process of national ownership and mainstreaming must be accelerated.
Looking forward, the report makes recommendations for countries and the Arab Maghreb Union to strengthen national and regional systems and strategic frameworks.
2 November 2018: The UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) published a report taking stock of SDG implementation and progress in Maghreb countries Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. The report focuses on Goals 2 (zero hunger), 7 (affordable and clean energy), 8 (decent work and economic growth), 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), 13 (climate action) and 15 (life on land).
The report was produced in response to a request from the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), and discussed at the 33rd Session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts held from 30 October to 2 November 2018, in Tunis, Tunisia.
The report highlights efforts in the four countries to date, noting that Mauritania has included the SDGs in its Strategy for Accelerated Growth and Shared Prosperity (SCAPP) for the period 2016-2030. In Tunisia, a press release notes, a “rapid, integrated evaluation” conducted by the government of its five-year development plan (2016-2020) shows alignment with the SDGs. Overall, however, the publication emphasizes that the process of national ownership and mainstreaming varies by country, and is “still too slow.”
The report identifies Maghreb countries’ needs around:
- Accelerating implementation and integration of the SDGs into planning frameworks;
- Finalizing mechanisms to coordinate national efforts to implement the SDGs, as well as stakeholder efforts; and
- Strengthening the coordination of national and regional statistical systems to improve data availability and coherence, which remains “a considerable challenge for all countries.”
Looking forward, the report recommends that additional efforts be made to align national priorities with the SDGs, increase cross-sectoral partnerships across stakeholder groups, and take the SDGs into account in national budgeting processes. It adds that although regional priorities are reasonably well defined for implementing the 2030 Agenda, few strategic frameworks are available to steer action by Maghreb countries, and target figures at the Maghreb level are lacking. The authors call on the AMU to direct efforts towards: capacity building and knowledge sharing efforts, a Maghreb-wide sustainable development strategy; and implementation of sub-regional programs that support African Union-sponsored initiatives.
At the request of member countries, UNECA’s Office for North Africa will follow up on the report with the production of a regional profile that examines SDG implementation, progress and challenges for the entirety of the sub-region. [UNECA press release] [Publication: First Report on the Achievement of Sustainable Development Goals in the Maghreb: Executive Summary] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on 33rd committee session]