The Liberian Government and the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa (SDGC/A) Tuesday signed a Host Country Agreement that will facilitate the establishment of the first West African SDGC/A Subregional Center in Monrovia, Liberia.
The SDGC/A Sub-regional Center in Liberia intends to support the Mano River Union countries and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member states.
Its establishment comes within a year of the official launch of the SDGC/A in Kigali, Rwanda and continues its commitment to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda throughout the five regions of Africa.
Under the leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, of Liberia, the agreement was signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Marjon V. Kamara on behalf of the host government and Dr. Belay Begashaw, Director General of the SDGC/A.
Under the terms of the Host Country Agreement, Liberia will provide facilities and services required for the Sub-regional Center that will support the achievement of the SDGs and Agenda 2063.
The Sub-regional Center will focus primarily on the Mano River Union countries and will be governed, directed and will operate under the oversight of the SDGC/A headquarters in Rwanda.
It is expected that each of the other three Mano River Union countries – Côte D’Ivoire, Guinea, Sierra Leone – will lend their support for the start-up and ongoing operations of the Sub-regional Center as well.
Through the SDGC/A Sub-regional Center, the Government of Liberia hopes to benefit from the expertise and experience of the SDGC/A with the intention of working with key partners to achieve the SDGs and establishing programs such as the mapping of agriculture-related policies and interventions for SDG 2 (Zero Hunger).
The Mano River Union serves as a perfect entry point for the SDGC/A to provide support to the region through strengthening their capacities on economic and social development in order to help coordinate SDG activities, the statement said.
Liberian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marjon V. Kamara said she was pleased and honored to have been the one to sign this agreement establishing the SDGs Center, the first of the sub-regional ones.
“It’s a very good thing that we have a center that is based in Liberia given our role. The SDGs embody the aspirations and wishes of the African people and of the developing world. So this is just not Africa. This is the script for development up to 2030 and I think a center of this nature will help to keep a certain momentum going in terms of the goods that have to be achieved. It’s also will be some source of pressure on Liberia to deliver given its role and the fact that it’s now hosting the center,” she said.
The Director General of the SDGC/A, Dr. Belay Begashaw thanked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their remarkable commitment to establishing the Host Country Agreement with the Center.
“Through this Sub-regional Center we will offer our technical support, advice and expertise primarily to the Governments of the Mano River Union countries and other stakeholders to help accelerate their implementation of the SDG Agenda for the benefit of their countries and the region as a whole.”
The establishment of the new SDGC/A Sub-regional Center is at the request of the Mano River Union countries of Côte D’Ivoire, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia and comes with the approval of the SDGC/A Board of Directors, according to a statement.
The SDGC/A opened in July of 2016 to champion the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in line with the principles of African Union’s Agenda 2063.
With its headquarters in Kigali, Rwanda, the SDGC/A is expanding to open Sub-regional Centers throughout Africa in order to carry out its mandate with more focus on regional priorities and challenges.