The UN Economic Commission for Africa announced that five localities in Africa have published voluntary local reviews of their SDG progress, and more are in progress.
Ngora District, Uganda became the first local and rural government in the world to conduct a VLR.
UNECA is working with UN-Habitat and United Cities and Local Governments of Africa to publish the African Regional Guidelines for VLRs.
The UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) announced that five localities in Africa have published voluntary local reviews of their SDG progress, and more are in progress. The five reports have informed forthcoming guidelines for African VLRs.
In Zimbabwe, two localities published VLRs as part of a partnership with UNECA in 2020, which served to “kickstart” VLRs in all councils in Zimbabwe. The country’s Minister of Local Government and Public Works writes in a foreword to both reports that they serve as a starting point for local authorities to improve on data collection and reporting. He adds that every Zimbabwean council should “become a repository of knowledge and good practice” on SDG reporting and implementation, to support the goal of Zimbabwe becoming an upper middle-income society by 2030.
Victoria Falls Town released its report in March 2020. Harare’s VLR was published in June 2020. Main findings focus on progress and challenges on several priority SDGs (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 11). Concluding recommendations call for the City to consider developing a local SDGs monitoring and evaluation system or framework to track progress. In addition to ensuring that SDG implementation remains on track, such a local system would increase capacity for responsive, transparent, and accountable local governance.
In Ghana, the capital city of Accra released its VLR in February 2020, with a focus on both the 2030 Agenda and the AU’s Agenda 2063. The foreword by the Mayor of Accra says the VLR process has enabled Accra’s government to build capacity in monitoring and reporting of the two agendas. He said it also helps track progress on the targets of Accra’s vision of becoming a “Smart, Safe, Sustainable, and Resilient City.”
In Uganda, the Ngora District became the first local and rural government in the world to conduct a VLR. The District’s VLR was released in March 2020.
Like Accra’s report, the report from Ngora District covers both the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063. The report includes an annex on SDGs Localized Indicator Framework shows the corresponding national indicators used to assess each SDG target selected for the report.
Following the VLR’s release, the District aims to become a “model district” and support replication across other local municipalities to conduct their own VLRs. The District will adopt the report for approval by the Council, so it can guide planning and budgeting processes.
Finally, the 2020 VLR of Cameroon’s capital Yaoundé was conducted as part of a review of the City’s Urban Master Plan. The foreword notes that the VLR process highlighted how the City’s efforts to improve the living environment and the livelihood of its residents “were actually responding to some of the essential targets of the SDGs most relevant to Cameroon, in general, and to the city of Yaounde in particular.”
The report covers several selected SDGs. It concludes with suggestions to:
- Leverage the private sector, especially to support slum management and upgrading, and tourism development;
- Foster women’s access to and control of land and other property; and
- Set up an effective monitoring and evaluation system, informed by an integrated information system.
UNECA expects to publish the African Regional Guidelines for VLRs shortly. They are being produced in partnership with UN-Habitat and United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG-A). [UNECA press release] [Five African VLRs]