The 2024 Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (RFSD) adopted the ‘Addis Ababa declaration on the effective delivery of sustainable, resilient and innovative solutions to reinforce the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 and to eradicate poverty in times of multiple crises.’ The declaration reflects Africa’s priorities for the Summit of the Future in September.

Along with key messages, the Addis Ababa Declaration will be presented at the July session of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), the Summit of the Future in September, and the UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 29) in November.

The tenth session of the Africa RFSD convened from 23-25 April 2024 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in hybrid format. Participants focused on five SDGs under HLPF review this year – SDG 1 (no poverty), SDG 2 (zero hunger), SDG 13 (climate action), SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions), and SDG 17 (partnerships for the Goals) – and the corresponding goals of Agenda 2063. Delegates shared experiences, good practices, and lessons learned from implementing the two agendas.

In her opening remarks, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed highlighted means of implementation as a key barrier to progress and said USD 4 trillion in additional annual investments is needed to 2030 “to have a chance of achieving the SDGs.” She called for scaling up action on key transitions and investment pathways to accelerate progress across the Goals, urging focus on inclusive and sustainable energy, sustainable food systems, digital connectivity, and education.

During closing, Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief Economist of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Hanan Morsy, stressed that while “Africa has an opportunity to reverse trends and accelerate action towards realizing the SDGs and the Africa We Want,” it cannot do that without finances. She said Africa needs USD 1.3 trillion in annual investments to achieve the SDGs by 2030. Investments north of USD 3 trillion in mitigation and adaptation alone are needed to implement Africa’s nationally determined contributions (NDCs), Morsy stressed.

Governments attending the Forum adopted the Addis Ababa Declaration, which outlines regional priorities for the Summit of the Future. On financing for development (FfD), the declaration prioritizes, inter alia:

  • The timely reform of the global financial institutions and architecture to enable them to better serve the interests of Africa and developing countries elsewhere;
  • Global financing mechanisms that give African and other developing countries access to adequate and equitable concessional financing and to affordable market-based resources to accelerate sustainable development; and
  • The use of metrics beyond gross domestic product (GDP).

To transform global governance, the declaration stresses the need to “reinvigorate the multilateral system and ensure that Africa and the global South participate more actively and effectively… in international economic decision making, standard setting, and global economic governance.” It calls for a recognition of peace as a prerequisite for security, good governance, and development, and outlines the need to “capitalize on and reap a demographic dividend from the youth bulge in Africa” and “strengthen mechanisms for intergenerational interaction.”

The document further underscores the need for action to bridge the digital divide across Africa, build secure and trusted digital ecosystems, and place human development at the core of global governance of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), among other priorities.

The declaration also calls for strengthening evidence-based voluntary national and subnational reviews, promoting holistic and innovative approaches to poverty reduction, and strengthening governance strategies and institutional structures, among other recommendations.

The Forum is an annual multi-stakeholder platform organized by UNECA and the host government – this year, Ethiopia – in collaboration with the African Union (AU) Commission, the African Development Bank (AfDB), and other UN entities. The Forum was preceded by a workshop of Major Groups and other Stakeholders (MGoS), the sixth African Science, Technology and Innovation Forum, a workshop on voluntary national reviews (VNRs) and voluntary local reviews (VLRs), and the fifth Africa Climate Talks. The 2024 Economic Report on Africa (ERA2024) was launched during the Forum.

The Africa RFSD was the last of five regional gatherings for each group of UN Member States, in preparation for HLPF 2024 and the Summit of the Future. [2024 Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on UNECE RFSD 2024] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on ESCWA RFSD 2024] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on ESCAP RFSD 2024] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on ECLAC RFSD 2024]