Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa Director General Professor Belay Begashaw says Africa needs about US$600 to US$ 800 billion incremental budget in order to attain sustainable development goals.

And Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Chalwe Lombe says today’s launch of the Sustainable Development Goals Sub-Regional Centre for Southern Africa in Zambia will be graced by Rwandan’s President Paul Kagame and Namibian Vice-President Nangolo Mbumba.

Speaking during a Media Conference on the launch of the SDGs Sub-Regional Center,Prof Begeshaw said involvement of the private sector is key to enable most African countries attain SDGs.

“We know that Africa needs $600 to $800 Billion as an incremental budget every year in order to meet the SDGs in the next 15 years. However if you take health and education, these are most important things here. Countries have to allocate as much as 14 per cent of their GDP’s only for these two components. That 14 per cent of their GDPs means its about 70 per cent of the budget. So imagine if countries are putting about 70 per cent of their budget only for health and education, how will they fund other things?” wondered Begeshaw.

“So this is a challenge, this is why we are saying that we really want upfront resources to meet the SDG targets.So if we have to meet those qualities, if we have to make sure that all the targets are met on only the two agendas, we need to have that much money. So now the health budget in so many countries is swinging to eight to nine per cent. In some countries the education budget is not different from this, its even less in many ways. So we need to have 70 per cent of the annual budget. We can’t do this task without meaningful private sector participation, and the SDG are investment projects. We are in a huge disadvantage as Africa that is why I said that we are in a different starting point. That is why we need an extra resource from other sources.”

And Lombe said the SDG center will push the resource envelope much higher.

“This SDG center pushes the envelope much higher because now we are looking at matters now relating to United Nations and for us it is a product and an outcome, it’s a dividend for the economic diplomacy agenda that the President has been driving. And these are the results that we see today. I want to report that for tomorrow’s launch which the President His Excellency will host, we expect to receive His Excellence Paul Kagame President of the republic of Rwanda, who as you know is chair of the board, and in representing SADC the President of Namibia has tasked the Vice President Dr Nangolo Mbumba who will also be here,” said Lombe.