New York, July 20 – The APRM Continental Secretariat held a side event on the margins of the High-Level Political Forum on 16-19 July 2019 in New York. The purpose of the event was to deliberate on the African Union Member States’ progress on the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2063, particularly SDGs 16 &17. The APRM event was organized at the African Union Mission to the United Nations and inaugurated by opening remarks by H.E Fatima Kyari Mohammed, Permanent Observer of the AU Mission to the UN, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Chairperson of APR Panel of Eminent Persons, and Minister Khayar Oumar Defallah, Chairperson of the APRM Committee of Focal Points.Ambassador F.Kyari expressed her pleasure to host this African gathering and pledged her commitment to support the APRM activities. “APRM is Africa’s most innovative tool that tackles the core of good governance. It should therefore be the mandate of every African to see this mechanism succeed”, she said.Speaking at the event APRM Head Professor Eddy Maloka said this year the APRM is moving forward with another exercise to deliberate on the performance and progress of AU member states in the governance of Sustainable Development Goals.“At the AU Summit in 2020 the APRM will launch a knowledge product which seeks to address the institutional arrangements, means of implementation, partnerships, public awareness, and inclusiveness of SDGs implementation during the last three years.”
The event included two high level panel discussions – the first deliberated on reflections on the progress of implementation of SDGs in Egypt, South Africa and Cote d’ Ivoire. Minister of Planning and Administrative Reform of Egypt Dr. Hala El-Said highlighted the National Strategy for SDGs in her country and its impact on Egypt’s Vision 2030. She said a set of administrative and legislative reforms are executed within the national economic reform package to ensure proper governing framework for the attainment of SDGs including taxation, fighting corruption and capacity building reforms.
Representative of the Minister of Planning and Development of Cote d’ Ivoire Mr. Marcelin Cisse, General Director of strategy, planning and aid coordination, referred to the bottom-up approach adopted by the government to ensure public engagement in the implementation of SDGs. He stressed on key factors for the success of SDGs progress including political leader vision, private sector involvement, efficiency of finance for development and taxation reforms while ensuring that reforms are initiated within an inclusive national consultation.
Minister of Tourism of South Africa, Ms. Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, reiterated the model that South Africa has adopted in data collation. She said the Department of Monitoring and Evaluation collaborates with Statistics SA to monitor progress and identify gaps on the implementation of SDGs. Hon. Kubayi-Ngubane further mentioned the important role of Stats SA in conducting the verification of numbers and target indicators for the SDGs.
The second panel included representatives from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), OECD, UN Global Compact and UN Economic Commission for Africa who demonstrated efforts of financial institutions towards the implementation and governance of SDGs and regional collaboration between APRM and UN Agencies. Mr. Rami Ahmad – Special Envoy on SDGs at IsDB shared key messages on the role of multilateral development Banks, not only as providers of cash assistance, but to capitalize on the Multi-Lateral Development Banks (MDBs) for building national capacities in African countries. He also stressed on the ineffectiveness of short-term Official Development Assistance (ODAs) since it is usually an activity-based but not a solution base engagement by traditional donors. He expressed the IsDB eagerness to cooperate with the APRM on governance for SDGs issues.
Mr. Marcos Bonturi, Director of Public Governance at the OECD, shared with the audience information on the OECD new initiative, the Governance Hub for SDGs which is envisaged to offer a platform for countries to share national governance experiences for SDGs. He commended collaboration with APRM in this regard as a regional mechanism to suggest the engagement of further African states in this exercise.
From the ECA perspective, Mr. Paul Mapuga, Senior Economic Expert and Member of APRM -Agenda 2063 taskforce, clarified that the ECA is collaborating with AU to developed an integrated toolkit to address the integration of both agendas, 2030 and 2063 for the ‘Africa We Want’. He also highlighted the joint work conducted by APRM/ECA for the Africa Sustainable Development Report 2019 and the ongoing progress on the APRM initiated report on the state of implementation of SDGs/Agenda 2063.
On SDG 16, Ms. Olajobi Makinwa – Chief of Intergovernmental Relations of Africa at the UN Global Compact concluded that her organization offers a platform for promoting SDGs from a business perspective. She emphasized that progress on SDG 16 is yet to be satisfactory by many countries despite its significance and inclusive notion. The UN Global Compact, therefore, is currently developing a global guiding framework for the governments and private sector in relevance to reporting on SDG 16, as she noted.
The APRM high level event was moderated by the CEO, Prof. Eddy Maloka, H.E Ambassador Mona Omar, Member of APR Panel of Eminent Persons, and Prof. Fatima Karadja, Vice President of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons.