Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the International Development Journal, an online journal offering a platform to engage in debate and discussions on global policies and current affairs.
Following on from the 2015 global agreement on the Sustainable Development Goals, the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa (SDGC/A) opened in Kigali, Rwanda in July 2016. Its tagline is “Connecting ideas, Strengthening capacity, Innovating solutions.”
It was established in order to “build upon Africa’s existing successes by bringing together people, ideas, and innovation to collectively reach a more sustainable future.” As an international organisation, it aims to create “Partnerships and solutions for people, planet and prosperity” and “supports governments, civil society, businesses and academic institutions in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.”
The values of the SDG/A include the formation of partnerships, synergistic networks, transparency and accountability in decision making, social inclusion at all levels of society and the responsible management of natural resources.
In order to achieve its grand vision, and support the implementation and realisation of the SDGs across Africa, the SDG/A focuses has multiple focuses. It conducts research and provides policy advice to governments, civil society, business and academia. It supports inter-country projects in infrastructure, information systems and finance. It serves as a platform to engage academics, citizens and communities in relation to the SDGs and provides education and capacity building to strengthen universities. Finally, it supports the distribution of technology, innovation and outreach.
While the SDG/A promotes the formation of innovative partnerships across Africa it has key partners of it its own which support its existence and enable it to conduct its work. These include The Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), Columbia University and the Wallace Global Fund.
The selection of Kigali as the African city to host the SDG/A is an appropriate one. Rwanda is only one of a few African countries to have met some of the targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) before the September 2015 deadline. Rwanda’s President, Paul Kagame, is also committed to the concept of sustainable development. Speaking of it, in January 2017, he is quoted by News of Rwanda, as having said “We all have a role to play and what is really important is cooperation, working closely together to make progress.”
To keep track of the latest SDG/A news and developments visit its website or subscribe to its newsletter list.