President Paul Kagame on Monday chaired the 5th board meeting of the Sustainable Development Goals Centre for Africa, on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Kagame said that the initiative continues to be an important step with far reaching implications to the African continent’s development agenda.
The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning Amb. Claver Gatete who attended said the meeting largely focused on the progress on programmes under the initiative.
Among the major developments of the meeting was the approval of the launch of satellite centres to supplement the Kigali-based SDG Africa headquarters.
“There will be other sub-centres on the African continent in addition to the one in Kigali. One of them that was approved was the Mano River Sub-centre composed of four countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast. This is to have a bigger impact on the continent,” the minister said.
Giving insights on what transpired at the meeting, Gatete said that the meeting also agreed on an index which will be used to monitor the impact of SDGs in Africa.
“The meeting also discussed the index put together to have a bigger impact on SDGs. The SDG Index and citizen report is going to help on tracking how SDGs are being implemented,” Amb. Gatete said.
The meeting also approved the accreditation of the SDG Centre to the African Union and the United Nations.
The accreditation could see the centre’s viewpoints incorporated into the organisations (AU and UN) relations to the African continent’s development agenda and a positive shift in their support to the region’s progress.
The board also looked into the financing of the centre which will see it sustainably financed as opposed to relying on irregular donations and handouts.
Among the financing models fronted include contributions from board members.
The Kigali based SDG centre was officially launched in Kigali in January this year with Dr. Belay Begashaw appointed as the Director-General.
The centre was mandated to oversee and highlight how best Africa can achieve the SDGs by 2030 and the major themes relevant to SDG implementation in Africa.
It runs as an autonomous international organisation that provides technical support, and expertise as input to national governments, the private sector, civil society and academic institutions to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs agenda across the continent.
The centre looks to draw lessons from the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and putting at the centre the private sector.
President Kagame co-Chairs the initiative alongside Nigerian businessman Aliko Dangote.
The meeting was among other dignitaries, attended by the heads of state of Ivory Coast and Guinea.