SDGs: Africa ‘faces annual funding gap of $500 billion’

The Director General of Sustainable Development Goals Centre for Africa, Belay Begashaw, addresses the media in Kigali yesterday. Sam Ngendahimana.

African countries will need to raise over $500 billion in additional funding every year to achieve their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

The announcement was made yesterday by the SDG Centre for Africa (SDGC/A), referring to its own report whose findings will be officially published in Kigali next week.

The report, titled “Africa 2030: Sustainable Development Goals Three-Year Reality Check”, will be launched on the sidelines of a conference organised by the centre to reflect on Africa’s three-year journey of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.

The centre estimates that a large financing gap, between $500 billion to $1.2 trillion every year, is derailing SDGs implementation in Africa.

Officials at the Kigali-based centre, including its director general, Belay Begashaw, announced the report’s main findings at a news conference on Friday to publicise the upcoming forum.

“SDGs are very ambitious projects and the funding gap is very high,” Begashaw said as he commented on some of the report’s findings.

The official said that heavy investments are still needed in key sectors of health, and education, and the management of water used in agriculture activities to ensure food security if the continent is to achieve SDGs.

He said that, unlike other regions of the world, “Africa’s standing point is very low” compared to what needs to be achieved by 2030.

He urged governments across the continent and Africa’s donors across the world to revitalise efforts to raise funds needed to drive the implementation of the SDGs.

The funds should be channelled through national budgets across in order to fast-track development.

“We need to compensate for the lost time; we need to do it as soon as possible,” Begashaw said.

Donald Ndahiro, the centre’s advisor on SDGs, agrees that heavy investments in three main sectors of education, health, and water for agricultural use would make a difference.

“They are more of African problems than in other regions,” he said.

With sub-Saharan Africa facing about 23 per cent of its population undernourished according to estimates by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, Ndahiro said that investments are needed in managing rainwater resources to be used in agriculture to ensure food security.

On education, the quality of education is still very low on the continent, he said, while improvements are also needed in the area of healthcare to reduce under-five mortality rate.

At the upcoming conference in Kigali next week, due June 12-14, the SDGs centre for Africa will suggest that three special funds be set up to support the three main critical sectors of education, health, and water for agriculture in Africa.

“The funds would support investments to improve primary and secondary education, strengthen health systems, and enhance efforts to improve the management of rainwater for agriculture,” Ndahiro said.

According to the centre’s upcoming report on Africa’s three year journey of implementing the SDGs, two thirds of African countries still prevail in the “low human development” and continue to struggle with education and health care.

There are also significant differences across the continent with Northern African countries likely to achieve SDGs related to human wellbeing, whereas Central Africa is unlikely to meet them all.

The report’s assessments indicate that Africa as a continent is on track for three SDGs; namely SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 13 (Climate Action), and SDG 15 (Life on Land).

In 2015, more than 190 world leaders committed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals to help end extreme poverty in the world, fight inequality and injustice, and fix climate change.

They are goals that every citizen and government of the world should work to achieve in order to have a more prosperous, equitable, and sustainable global society.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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