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The Opening Remarks were presented by the co-host of the event the H.E Princess Orelope-Adefulire, Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Princess Gloria Akobundu, CEO of APRM-NEPAD office- Nigeria and Minister of finance, on behalf of Vice President – Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. In his opening remarks, Prof. Eddy Maloka emphasised that the APRM regional platform for VNRs is an open regional dialogue which allows African countries to express their views and lessons learnt concerning VNRs best practices as well as overall implementation progress of both Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063. He also highlighted some of good practices amongst member states including enhanced coordination mechanisms for VNRs planning reprioritization of goals and indicators national development plan and engagement of youth and women in VNR/VLR national processes in some African countries.
Representatives of eighteen (18) countries including Nigeria, Somalia, Djibouti, Uganda, Egypt, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Lesotho, Eswatini, the Gambia, Sao Tome Principe, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Tunisia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mali, and Morocco participated at the workshop besides 35 SDGs representatives across Nigeria. The workshop provided a platform for countries to share national efforts towards means of implementation and coordination strategies for the effective implementation of Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030. Partner organizations shared tools for monitoring and evaluation that are ready for use and can adapted to context by Member States. Notably, UNDESA raised awareness of their Public Service Award which recognizes excellence in public service at the local, regional, and national levels and encouraged African States to apply.
The APRM shared reporting tools such as the M&E knowledge hub and CEPA principles survey which were developed to support Member States in the evaluation of progress as well as realization of both Agenda 2063 and 2030. Also Highlighted was the ongoing work of the technical working group (TWG) led by the AUC in collaboration with other agencies which provides a framework to help track progress made with regards to Agenda 2063. This framework comprehensive includes key steps in preparing progress reports on the implementation of Agenda 2063. The AUC also updated the Member States of progress with the development of the 2nd Ten Year Plan of Agenda 2063 with First Ten-year implementation plan coming to an end.
From the Voluntary National Reviews undertaken at national level, it was reported that governments had been selective to prioritize a select number of goals to implement towards streamlining the use of resources given the repurposing of development finance to COVID-19 mitigation over the past 2 years.
This workshop was the fourth (4th) continental VNR workshop organized by the APRM to support Member States and promote Voluntary National Review understanding for effective execution. It was also supported by a number of APRM strategic partners including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Centre for Africa, UNDP, UNESCO, UNECA, Islamic Development Bank and other development partners.