Fifth Session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development

  • 22nd April 2019
  • by secretary

16-18 April 2019. Marrakech, Morocco. The Fifth (2019) session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD 5) was held under the theme “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.

It reviewed SDG 4 (quality education), SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG 10 (reduced inequalities), SDG 13 (climate action), and SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) and the corresponding goals of Agenda 2063 . 
The forum also undertook an in-depth review of SDG 17 (partnerships) to address challenges and
strengthen partnerships to develop capacity, harness science and technologies and mobilize and scale up finance to implement the goals.

The outcomes of ARFSD 5 will feed into the 2019 session of the High-level Political Forum on July 2019. It offered an opportunity for Africa to articulate its inputs to the Leaders’ summit. Such inputs will include Africa’s specific challenges in the implementation of the SDGs, gaps and levers of change to accelerate implementation.
Sustainable Development (HLPF) under the auspices of ECOSOC, which will be held in
Extracts of the programme and key messages
SDG 13: Scaling up climate action
The implementation of the nationally determined contributions by African countries requires a massive investment, well beyond what can be provided from the limited public resources. Accordingly, most of the investment required to finance the nationally determined contributions will need to come from the private sector. Countries must review, reformulate and package the actions to meet their nationally determined contributions as investment portfolios to provide a mechanism through which the much-neededprivate sector financing can be mobilized.

With large scale-carbon removal, also classified as a form of geoengineering, identified as a part of the required solution pathways if emissions do not start to decline well before 2030, it is important that African countries ensure the risks and opportunities of geoengineering are well communicated globally, and that a governance framework is established for the development and deployment of such technologies.

SDG 17: partnerships
Stronger action by countries and their development partners is needed to ensure that an integrated and coherent approach is taken in the efforts to mobilize resources and financing for the implementation of key regional and global frameworks, including, among others, the 2030 Agenda, Agenda 2063, the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area, the Paris Agreement and the SAMOA Pathway. Otherwise, a fragmented, silo or piecemeal approach to the implementation of these frameworks could lead to the dissipation of efforts and imbalanced and short-lived outcomes that, in turn, would undermine the integrated and linked-nature of the SDGs.

Countries need to address common challenges that impede the harnessing of science, technology and innovation for sustainable development. Such challenges include the lack of capacity to implement related policies, political leadership, balanced engagement and participation to ensure that resources are in line with aspirations, and address fragmentation. In addition, there is need to strengthen the evidence base for measuring and monitoring the effectiveness and efficiency of science, technology and innovation programmes, including those related to social and environmental issues, beyond economic outcomes. Gender disparity in the field of science, technology and innovation is also a challenge in most African countries.