June 14, 2019

Africa “Likely To Meet Only 3 of 17” UN Development Goals By 2030


The Conference was marked by a high-level panel discussion moderated by Dr Donald Kaberuka, former President of the African Development Bank Group. The panel had President Paul Kagame, Zambian President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, Liberian Vice President Dr. Jewel C. Howard-Taylor and African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki.

A reality check report of the UN Sustainable Development Goals released today in Kigali warns as “impossible” for Africa to achieve the 17 targets set in 2015.

Only three goals are likely to be met by the 2030 target, says the ‘AFRICA 2030 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS THREE-YEAR REALITY CHECK‘ report.

The goals that could be met are gender equality, climate action and life on land.

North Africa is the only region that is on schedule, doing well in most of the goals.

The three-year reality check report was released at the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Conference which is discussing the progress of the SDGs in Africa.

Kagame is hosting his counterparts including Zambian President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and Liberian Vice President Dr. Jewel C. Howard-Taylor.

The report shows that from the 17 Goals, researchers were able to find performance data on only 13 of them.

East Africa where Rwanda is located, is on track for universal electrification if investment increases. The other regions are way off-track, says the report.

West Africa has the highest levels of under-five mortality rates, and the report says the region “will struggle to meet the 2030 target”.

On a positive note however, Africa leads the world in appointing female legislators – making sub-Saharan average greater than the global average.

For all SDGs, the report also found that the funding gap is large for Africa, estimated at between $500 billion and $1.2 trillion.

Here is a summary of the findings on all the 17 SDGs:

No Poverty – Progress over the long term has been made, but only in relative terms. In absolute numbers, poverty has increased. Recent progress cannot be quantified as the latest data is from 2015, indicating that good-quality and timely poverty data remains a challenge. Based on available data, the poverty target for 2030 will not be met by any African region other than North Africa.

Zero Hunger – With the exception of North Africa, food insecurity in Africa persists at a rate of over 25%. Only North Africa is on track to reduce malnutrition rates to less than 7.5% by 2030. In every other region, malnutrition rates are worsening.

Good Health – Under-five mortality rates are highest in Africa and well above the global average. North Africa has already achieved its target of reducing under-five mortality rates to less than 25 deaths per 1000 births by 2015. West Africa, which has the high-est levels, will struggle to meet the 2030 target. With an intensified and accelerated response (optimistic scenario), the other regions could feasibly meet the target.

Quality Education – More than 50% of the countries in Africa have a primary enrollment rate of over 90% and are likely to meet the target of 100% primary enrollment by 2030 if their efforts are sustained. North Africa is poised to meet the 2030 target, and the other Africa regions are also within range.

Gender equality – Africa leads the world in appointing female legislators; the sub-Saharan average is greater than the global average. However, African women are still more likely than men to be in vulnerable employment, despite the downward trend of people in vulnerable employment generally.

Clean water and sanitation – In Africa, access to improved drinking water within a 30-minute round trip is below the world average and off-target. Reaching the 2030 target on sanitation will require a significant investment for nearly half of the African countries. Unfortunately, ODA for water and sanitation to African countries had started decreasing in the pre-SDG era.

Affordable and clean energy – Half of the continent has electrification rates of less than 40%. North Africa is on track to achieve 100% electrification by 2030, and East Africa could be on track for universal electrification if investment increases. The other regions are way off-track.

Decent work and economic growth – Unemployment remains high in Africa, reflecting the demographic challenge as well as lack of structural change. Over 40 countries have unemployment rates of over 5%. The real GDP per person employed has also fallen.

Industry, innovation and infrastructure – Internet usage in Africa remains very low when compared with the rest of the world. Nearly half of African countries have internet access rates of less than 20%.

Reduce inequality within and among countries – While no SDG data exists to assess this indicator, growing evidence shows that Africa is one of the most unequal regions in the world. Based on a measure of total resource flows for development, inequality worsened in 25 African countries between 2000 and 2015.

Sustainable cities and communities – Africa is less urbanized than other regions in the world. While indicators and data are lacking, 13 countries have formulated and 21 are in the process of implementing national urban policies

Sustainable consumption and production – There is no data available on any of the indicators.

Climate action – Africa is the best performing region in the world when it comes to CO2 emissions. Of the world’s worst twenty performers, only one is African: South Africa, which produces 467.7 MT per annum. Egypt and Algeria are the next worst offenders.

Life below water – There is no data available to assess the progress. However, most of the countries with maritime borders do not have protected areas for marine life.

Life on land – The continent is performing relatively well with a good amount of protected land dedicated to supporting biodiversity. The only two regions with a greater proportion of protected areas relative to areas of biological significance are Europe and North America. If the continent implements and enforces concert-ed and focused policy interventions, it should be on track to meet the 2030 target.

Peace, justice and strong institutions – The number of deaths caused by conflict or terrorism in Africa is alarming in some countries, particularly Somalia, Libya and Sudan. North Africa has the lowest number of all African regions – but it is still significantly higher than the global average. However, the 2030 target of reducing deaths can feasibly be achieved by a majority. Currently, in 91% of countries there are fewer than 1.9 deaths per 100,000 people caused by conflict or terrorism.

Partnerships for the goals – Based on the latest data (2015), more than half of African countries have a national statistics plan that is fully funded and being implemented. Significant efforts are required by all regions for the 2030 target to be achieved.

Meanwhile, Tunisia has emerged at the top of 2019 SDG Index Ranking for Africa, also released in Kigali, followed by Mauritius, Algeria, Morocco and Cape Verde.

Rwanda ranks 12, topping the east African region; Kenya at 15, Tanzania at 16th position, Uganda at 18, Burundi at 34.

South Sudan, another EAC member state is at the bottom of the full Index ranking lowest in implementing the SDGs on the continent.

On the sidelines of the Three-Year Journey Assessment Conference, President Kagame also convened Board meeting of SDG Africa.


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