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African Subregional Reports Highlight SDG Priorities

UNECA23 October 2013: The UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has issued reports from each of Africa's sub-regions on priorities for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including themes and proposed goals, targets and indicators. The reports serve as input to the Africa Regional Consultative Meeting on the SDGs taking place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 31 October-5 November 2013.

The meeting will include expert and ministerial segments, and aims to agree on an African common position that will serve as Africa's collective input to the UN General Assembly's (UNGA) Open Working Group (OWG) on the SDGs.

The Report on SDGs for the West Africa Subregion (ECA/SDG/4) identifies poverty as the main challenge and proposes targets based on current country Millennium Development Goal (MDG) achievements. The report proposes focusing on nine SDGs, 42 targets and 178 indicators, under the following seven themes: overall poverty reduction; human development; infrastructure development; inclusive economic growth and structural transformation; good governance, rule of law, peace and security; ensure sustainable use and management of natural resources (forest, water and soils); and external financing and partnerships.

The Draft Report on SDGs for the North Africa Subregion (ECA/SDG/5) proposes four global objectives, 30 targets and 48 indicators. First, it aims to curb the marginalization and social exclusion of vulnerable populations through, inter alia: sustainable agriculture and food security; poverty reduction and employment; safety nets and social protection; and regional integration. The report secondly proposes: promoting the transition to a green and inclusive economy, including inclusive growth; and addressing climate change, disaster risk reduction (DRR), desertification and drought. Third, it suggests ensuring universal access to basic services, including health care, water and sanitation. Finally, it aims to build lasting peace based on transparency.

The Report on SDGs for the Central Africa Subregion (ECA/SDG/6) identifies nine priority areas: peace, security and sociopolitical stability; governance and accountability; physical infrastructures for transportation, energy, water and sanitation; poverty, food security and sovereignty; green growth and creation of decent jobs; improvement in access to healthcare for all; improvement of access to quality education and professional training for all; protection of the environment, management of natural resources and climate change; and gender equality and women's empowerment.

The Draft Report on SDGs for the Southern Africa Subregion (ECA/SDG/7) proposes six priority themes: poverty eradication; education and technical skills; gender equality and empowerment; health and nutrition; environmental sustainability; and governance. The report recommends avoiding pitfalls of the MDGs, such as failure to design goals at the same level, fragmentation, partiality and lack of ownership.

The East Africa report is expected to be available soon.

UNECA is organizing the meeting along with the the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Development Bank (AfDB). [Meeting Website] [Publication: Report on Sustainable Development Goals for the West Africa Subregion] [Publication: Draft Report on Sustainable Development Goals for North Africa[Publication: Draft Report on Sustainable Development Goals for the Southern Africa Subregion] [Publication: Report on the sustainable development goals: Central Africa Subregion][IISD RS Story on African Common Position, March 2013] [IISD RS Story on African Common Position, May 2013]