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Africa Can Prevail on Development Goals by Unlocking Investments in Health, Educations System, Deputy Secretary-General Tells Continental Workshop

Following is the text of UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s video message to the African Union Continental Workshop, in Abuja today:

Ladies and gentlemen, it is an honour to address this vital workshop to discuss progress on both the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063.  I thank the African Union and its partners for organizing it.

We live in a fragile and turbulent world.  COVID‑19 has wrought havoc on our societies and economies.  And now, the war in Ukraine is destabilizing a global economy still reeling from the pandemic ‑ triggering dramatic spikes in prices of food, energy and other essential goods.

Africa will be particularly hard hit given that as many as 25 African countries import more than one third of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine and 15 of them import over half.  But we must not give up hope on achieving Africa’s development objectives.  We can still prevail — by continuing to work to open opportunities and unlock investments for better health and education systems, decent work, climate action and clean energy.

Getting back on track will require policy choices aligned with the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 and a clear emphasis on leaving no one behind.  Last year, the Secretary-General published Our Common Agenda, which outlines a vision for the future of global cooperation founded on a more inclusive, networked, and effective multilateralism.  Through Our Common Agenda we will intensify our efforts in the Decade of Action and push for the key transitions in energy, food and digitalization to achieve a greener, safer and more equitable world.

In this effort, voluntary national and local reviews are essential tools — providing a clear picture of the state of play, identifying priorities for action, and accelerating progress on SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) implementation.  They can support more integrated and evidence-based policymaking, enhanced coordination at different government levels and serve as a tool for better data collection.  In addition, the Local2030 Coalition is leveraging the voluntary national review process to track and report SDG progress at the local level and to advocate for and invest in voluntary local review.

Your efforts this week will benefit not just your own nations, but the whole continent, by identifying solutions in the run-up to the high-level political forum in July, and by building new partnerships to meet the SDGs by 2030.  I wish you fruitful discussions over the next two days.

Thank you.


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