Strengthening Strategic Alignment for Africa’s Development Lessons from the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the African Union Agenda 2063 and the African Development Bank High Fives

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs) offers major improvements on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The SDGs take a holistic and balanced view of development by addressing the three dimensions of sustainable development (Economic, Social and Environment), significantly raising the level of ambition to achieve the goals and address key systemic barriers to sustainable development - such as inequalities and exclusions, unsustainable production and consumption patterns, weak institutional capacities, and climate change and environmental degradation – that the MDG agenda did not consider adequately. The 17 goals and 169 targets demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal agenda. The relevance of each goal, however, will vary by country (and region), depending on priority focus areas and the development issues faced. The African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the AfDB’s Hi5s provide the regional context for the SDGs. The Agenda 2063, Africa’s own development Agenda, contains a compelling narrative for Africa’s development. To Africa’s advantage, the articulation of the Common African Position (CAP) on the post- 2015 development agenda coincided with the formulation of the Agenda 2063. This ensured close alignment with regional priorities, on one hand, and the global development framework on the other. The 2063 Agenda proposes a considerable transformation across all three dimensions of sustainability including the governance, peace and security pillar as an important and enabling dimension articulated in the continental framework’s seven aspirations. The first aspiration, for “a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development,” constitutes the overarching objective for structural transformation. Reviewing the goals and targets, Agenda 2063 captures both systemic and structural barriers to – and the drivers of – change, emphasizing inclusive growth, infrastructure development, technological advancement, environmental sustainability, peace and security, and a politically united Africa. Its first 10-year implementation plan consists of 20 goals and at least 171 targets. The level of congruence between Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda is as high as 90 .0 percent. To a large extent, this congruence underpins a harmonized monitoring framework for the two agendas in Africa. The only goals that are not reflected in the global agenda are Goals 8 and 16 of Agenda 2063, which address priorities related to, first, a united Africa and cultural values and, second, establishing key continental and financial institutions, respectively. On the other hand, the Agenda 2063 environmental sustainability pillar is not as strong that found in the 2030 Agenda. To ensure effective implementation of the global and continental agendas, the African Union Commission, AfDB, UNDP, and ECA are already working together closely to articulate continental programmes and monitoring frameworks that will support the implementation of these agendas. The AfDB supports the implementation of both Agendas through its Ten-Year Strategy (2013 – 2022), which has the overarching, twin objectives of achieving inclusive growth and transitioning to green growth. Operationally, these two objectives will be met through the following five operational priorities: infrastructure development; regional economic integration; private sector development; governance and accountability; and skills and technology. The Ten-Year Strategy also has three areas of special emphasis - gender, fragile states, agriculture and food security - which will be implemented through five priority areas, otherwise known as the High Fives (Hi5s). These priority areas are Light up and Power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa. The Hi5s central to the Bank’s 10-year implementation plan and are also closely linked to the SDGs and the continental framework, Agenda 2063.

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Jan 02 2017
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 Record created 2018-02-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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