Transformative action across sectors key to achieve SDGs in Africa

29 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
Transformative action across sectors key to achieve SDGs in Africa Antonio Pedro

eBusiness Weekly

Business Writer

Deputy executive secretary programme support at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Antonio Pedro, has emphasised the need for transformative action across key sectors to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.

Speaking at the beginning of the 56th session of the Economic Commission for Africa Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in Victoria Falls this morning, Pedro identified six “transformative entry points” that can create a ripple effect, positively impacting all the SDGs.

Pedro highlighted Africa’s vast agricultural potential, despite facing hunger, food loss and malnutrition.

He stressed the importance of developing regional value chains, reducing investment risks and implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to ensure food security and resilience.

With over half of Africans lacking electricity, Pedro urged the continent to embrace affordable renewable energy solutions utilising its abundant solar, wind, geothermal and green hydrogen resources.

This shift will not only power Africa but also make its products competitive in a carbon-conscious global market.

Recognising the low internet penetration hindering technological advancement, Pedro called for increased digital connectivity and inclusion. He emphasised bridging the digital divide to allow African nations to fully participate in the digital age and utilise readily available technological solutions.

Highlighting Africa’s youthful population, Pedro stressed the need to equip young people with the knowledge and skills required for future jobs.

He advocated for comprehensive foresight analysis to guide the transformation of education systems and curriculums, ensuring youth are prepared for the evolving world.

With Africa facing the highest youth unemployment rate globally, Pedro underscored the need for governments to implement comprehensive industrial policies and private sector development strategies. This will create jobs for young people and ease their transition from education to the workforce.

“It is clear that we face seemingly insurmountable obstacles – but our resolve and collective action must equal the task at hand,” said Pedro.

“We already have the natural capital to overcome our challenges – from tropical forests or mangroves, in Zimbabwe, Cabo Verde, the Congo Basin and the Sahel, to industrial parks and special economic zones that have access to lithium, cobalt, solar irradiation and wind power.

“With an abundance of arable land, carbon credits and biodiversity credits, green hydrogen and geothermal resources, our renewable and non-renewable resources, offer us the pathways to green and sustainable transitions.”

He said working in close partnership with the African Union, African multilateral banks and other stakeholders, “we need more scale and ambition, supported by a pipeline of credible projects and initiatives, well designed industrial policies, with science, technology and innovation at the centre.”

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