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AfricaMoney | September 21, 2017

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The new Sustainable Development Goals will only succeed if they can succeed in Africa. How can we make that happen?

The new Sustainable Development Goals will only succeed if they can succeed in Africa. How can we make that happen?

The new Sustainable Development Goals will only succeed if they can succeed in Africa. How can we make that happen? A new report from the Africa Progress Panel, Global Goals, Africa Realities, lays out a roadmap for meeting the goals and transforming lives on the continent. Africa was never a ‘hopeless continent’. It was – and remains – a region of immense potential, much of it unfulfilled there is now an opportunity to unlock that potential and to set course for a future of shared prosperity, more equal opportunity, and political stability.

The new Sustainable Development Goals will only succeed if they can succeed in Africa. How can we make that happen? A new report from the Africa Progress Panel (click here), Global Goals, Africa Realities, lays out a roadmap for meeting the goals and transforming lives on the continent.

Africa’s rapidly growing population most needs the change described by both the SDG agenda and the Africa Progress Panel: economic development that leaves no one behind and gives every child a fair chance of leading a decent life. Like the SDGs, Global Goals, African Realities faces squarely our duty to protect future generations by limiting climate change, adopting renewable energy and managing resources sustainably.

The Africa Progress Panel led by Kofi Annan – the father of the Millennium Development Goals – works to ensure that Africa’s resources, creativity and dynamism are harnessed for the benefit of all Africans. Global Goals, African Realities, brings together findings and recommendations from four editions of the panel’s annual report – including recommendations that have been adopted at the highest levels.

Solving Africa’s interlocking climate and energy problems will require strengthened international cooperation. The global climate talks in December provide a platform for deepening cooperation and making a down-payment on measures with the potential to put Africa on a pathway toward an inclusive low-carbon energy future and the world on a pathway to avoid climate catastrophe.

Africa has to choose between growth and low-carbon development. Africa needs to utilize all of its energy assets in the short term, while building the foundations for a competitive, low carbon energy infrastructure. “says the Africa Progress Panel, 2015

The waste of scarce resources in Africa’s energy systems remains stark and disturbing. Current highly centralized energy systems often benefit the rich and bypass the poor and are underpowered, inefficient and unequal. Energy-sector bottlenecks and power shortages cost the region 2-4% of GDP annually, undermining sustainable economic growth, jobs and investment.

The international community has set the goal of achieving universal access to modern energy by 2030. Sub-Saharan Africa is not on track to achieve that target. It is the only region in which the absolute number of people without access to modern energy is set to rise, by 45 million for electricity and 184 million for clean cooking stoves. On current trends, it will take Africa until 2080 to achieve universal access to electricity. Universal access to clean cooking facilities would occur around 100 years later, sometime after the middle of the 22nd century.

Finally, Africa is to develop a more dynamic and inclusive pattern of growth, there is no alternative to a strengthened focus on agriculture. Sub-Saharan Africa is a region of smallholder farmers. Some people mistakenly see that as a source of weakness and inefficiency. We see it as a strength and potential source of growth.

About the Africa progress panel:

The Africa Progress Report (APR) is the annual flagship publication of the Africa Progress Panel. The APR draws on the best research and analysis available on Africa and compiles it in a refreshing and balanced manner. The Panel makes policy recommendations for African political leaders and civil society who collectively have the primary responsibility for spurring Africa’s progress. In light of the continent’s dynamic links with the rest of the world, the APR also highlights critical steps that must be taken by leaders in the international public and private sector

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