The seventh session of the African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, ARFSD has ended with a firm call for countries to pursue a full implementation of SDGs by 2030, an ECA press release has revealed.

The four-day Forum which held in Congo Brazzaville was the last in a series of seven sessions to track a roadmap for African countries to achieve the SDGs and Agenda 2063 of the AU.

Despite the prevailing health challenge on the continent, the African representatives were able to count their achievements and size up challenges towards the realization of SDGs and the Agenda 2063 in their virtual confab.

Their discussions were keyed on governments providing data which would help track the SDGs realization in their respective countries. To this, Zambia was lauded for mainstreaming the SDGs with the support of UN as affirmed by UN representative to Zambia, Ms Coumba Mar Gadio, the country has set a national plan for the achievement of SDGs.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, governments and private sectors of the continent are challenged to put in place a regional procurement strategy which is corruption free and ensure that women and youth are included in the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA deal, the delegates resolved.

For a progressive Africa, representatives also called on governments to “…ensure peace and human security, remove restrictions on spaces for activists and journalists, and work to avoid election violence”, the release reads.

There is need to invest in human capital in the implementation of this roadmap. 90 per cent of the goals are related and therefore impact from one goal will affect the other”, Ms. Micheline Baussard of the UNDP recommended.

Participants urged governments and private sectors to invest in value chain production across the continent and seek innovative financing to achieve clean renewable energy that protects the environment.

The forum held on the theme, “Building forward better: towards a resilient and green Africa to achieve the 2030 Agenda and 2063”.

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