President Edgar Lungu says time has come for Africa to adopt home grown solutions to its own challenges.
And Rwandan President Paul Kagame says the SDG centre for Africa aims at supporting governments in providing technical advice on upgrading statistical capacities.
Meanwhile, Namibian President Hage Geingob says African leaders should work closely together to achieve the SDGs.
The three Heads of State were speaking at the official launch of the Sustainable Development Goals Zambia sub-regional centre which was held at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka, Wednesday.
“Let me emphasize the clear testimony of Africa’s determination and unwavering commitment of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) including our collective resolve as leaders to meeting the targets we have set ourselves for Sustainable Development Goals. Most African countries could not attain the Millennium Development Goals mainly on account of various challenges such as inadequate financial resources. In our pursuit to achieve Sustainable Development Goals, this trend unfortunately is likely to continue unless Africa devises more innovative ways of addressing its development challenges. Time has come for Africa to adopt home grown solutions to its own challenges. Therefore, the establishment of the Sustainable Development Goals Centre for Africa in Kigali was the launch pad for such initiatives and we give credit to my dear brother President Kagame for spearheading this effort,” President Lungu said.
President Lungu said the newly established SDGs centre in Lusaka would not only propel Zambia’s ability to attain the set goals, but also enhance her capacities to develop and implement home-grown interventions.
“Given that most African countries on the continent did not meet the Millennium Development Goals due to lack of concerted efforts, the Africa Centre provides an avenue for accelerating the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals. In this Regard, the centre in Lusaka brings the initiative closer to home for those of us in the Southern African Region. It will be a vehicle for facilitating engagement between governments, and other stakeholders, to accelerate the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals. We believe that this centre will not only propel our ability to attain the Sustainable Development Goals, but also enhance our capacities to develop and implement home-grown interventions. Our quest to achieve Sustainable Development Goals, calls for promotion of development oriented policies, and programmes that support productive activities, creation of decent jobs, and entrepreneurship especially for women and youth,” he said.
President Lungu urged the centre to work closely with development banks and other financial institutions in mobilizing resources.
“I am glad to note that the centre will help member states to contextualise the Sustainable Development priorities such as agriculture, health, education among others. The region should be able to gain from the centre’s activities in these focus areas. In addition, we expect the centre to contribute to the enhancement of productivity and human capital to promote sustainable development. As a region, we expect that this centre will work closely with our national development banks and other financial institutions in resource mobilization and disbursement. This will support national development priorities to achieve Sustainable Development Goals,” said President Lungu.
“This will require urgent restructuring and recapitalization of the National Development Banks effective financing towards achievement of Sustainable Development Goals. To this effect, I am glad to report that the Development Bank of Zambia has already signed a collaborative agreement with the Sustainable Development Goals Centre for Africa. The SADC region is keen to benefiting from the centre in bridging the data gap on Sustainable Development Goals. At national level, the Zambian people are desirous to live in a middle-income industrialized nation, in which various opportunities will be readily available for them to improve their well-beings. The realization of the Sustainable Development Goals cannot be left to government alone. It is a shared responsibility which calls for participation by all stakeholders including individual citizens.”
And President Kagame, who is also Board Chairman of the Sustainable Development Goals Centre for Africa, said the SDG centre for Africa aimed at supporting governments in providing technical advice on upgrading statistical capacities.
“The role of the SDG centre for Africa is to support governments in this endeavour especially by providing technical advice on upgrading statistical capacities. Next month at the United Nations General Assembly, we will be participate in the SDGs summit. Importantly, the United Nations and the African Union are going to be working even more closely together. The launch of this sub-regional centre is therefore very timely and I hope other regions of our continent will follow suit,” said President Kagame.
And President Geingob, who delegated his Vice, Nangolo Mbumba, urged African leaders to closely work together as nations to deliver upon the various SDGs.
The launch of the Africa regional SDGs centre was also attended by cabinet ministers and permanent secretaries among other stakeholders.