Continental progress receives much needed attention
By Thandisizwe Mgudlwa
Cape Town – “A prosperous African continent is one where the different national economies are seamlessly integrated and the economic and social participation of all citizens is guaranteed.”
That’s the message coming from the annual Africa Week which kicked off on Monday 16 October.
The occasion is held the margins of the UN General Assembly Debate on Africa’s development to showcase the continent’s continuous advancements and achievements with respect to social, economic, political and environmental development.
The theme for Africa Week this year is, ‘Supporting an Integrated, Prosperous, People-Centred and Peaceful Africa: Towards the Implementation of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
Africa Week will serve as an opportunity for dedicated substantive discussions on issues that are in line with the implementation set out in both agendas.
According to the organising team, the choice of the theme is centred on a shared understanding that “a prosperous African continent is one where the different national economies are seamlessly integrated and the economic and social participation of all citizens is guaranteed and promoted.”
It is also expected that presentations and discussions during the week would reinforce “the need for governments and partners to work closely to ensure a fertile environment for entrepreneurship to take root and flourish, and to impede and reverse illicit financial flows, as means to stimulate economic growth and with a focus on peace and security”.
Experts further note that while Africa has defined a unique long-term vision, Agenda 2063, it remains strongly aligned to the global 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development.
In addition, the two agendas are mutually reinforcing as they focus attention on inclusive and sustainable structural transformation across all dimensions of sustainability including governance, peace and security and sustainable development.
“By holding this annual event on the margins of the General Assembly Debate on Africa’s development, the discussions focus on concrete issues bringing awareness on the new and emerging challenges confronting the continent,” some economists attest.
According to the African Union, “It also serves as a strategic opportunity to mobilise international support at the global level for Africa’s development priorities and its inclusive transformative agenda.”
Participating in the dynamic set of activities this week are international development partners, the private sector, and civil society, which each add significant value in support of Africa’s aspirations.
The African Union’s Agenda 2063 action plan was formed at the Organisation of African Unity/African Union 50th anniversary celebration in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in May 2013.
In terms of the plan, African leaders made a pledge to accelerate growth, development and prosperity on the continent going forward to 2063.
The African Union Foundation is committed to helping the AU achieve its Agenda 2063. Which is the vision and strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the African continent over the next 50 years.
The aim is to achieve this by building on and accelerating existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.
The pan-African vision is to have an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens, that represents a dynamic force in the global arena. To achieve this, an effort by all sectors of society is required.
Conversely, Africa’s common priorities as outlined in Agenda 2063 fed into the development of the Agenda 2030 through the African Common Position on the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs).
The SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
And as a result of the African positioning and input into the SDG process, there is great convergence between Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030.
Therefore, African countries are currently domesticating both agendas into National Development Plans.