Stakeholders Consultations for the Review of the Implementation of the Commitments Made Towards Africa’s Development

JUNE

29-30

29 - 30 June 2017
Bangkok, Thailand

Organised by OSAA and ESCAP

The Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) has embarked in a new series of consultations in preparation of the third review of the implementation of the commitments made towards Africa's development. As in the two previous reports, OSAA will work in close collaboration with the relevant UN entities through the institutional framework of the Interdepartmental Task Force on African Affairs (IDTFA), which it convenes at both principal and expert levels. It will also work with other regional and international institutions both within and outside the UN System, including:

  • the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),
  • the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO),
  • the World Health Organization (WHO),
  • the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA),
  • the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
  • the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA),
  • the African Union Commission / NEPAD Agency,
  • the African Development Bank (AfDB),
  • the International Monetary Fund (IMF),
  • the World Bank,
  • the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and
  • the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD).

The 2017 series of consultations will take place:

  • in Midrand, South Africa, on 20 - 21 April 2017 (co-organizers: OSAA and the NEPAD Agency),
  • in Paris, France, on 16 - 17 May 2017 (co-organizers: OSAA, UNESCO and OECD), and
  • in Bangkok, Thailand, on 29 - 30 June 2017 (co-organizers: OSAA and UNESCAP).

Objective of the 2017 Consultations

OSAA aims to further the link between the United Nations Monitoring Mechanism (UNMM), the 2030 Agenda and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 follow-up and review framework at the regional and global levels, particularly through more interaction and alignment with the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) and the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development. The UNMM could also facilitate the collection, compilation and analysis of data.

Thematic Focus of the Third Review

The third report, which will be submitted to the 73rd session of the General Assembly in October 2018, will be focused on the following themes and cross-cutting issues:

  1. Inclusive and sustainable industrialization and regional integration
  2. Health, water and sanitation
  3. Climate change
  4. Finance and partnerships
  5. Cross-cutting issues:
    • Peace and security
    • Gender and youth
    • Education
    • Migration
    • Wider partnership issues
    • Data availability and statistical capacity

The report will focus specifically of the delivery of commitments, the impact achieved and the challenges encountered and the way forward, differentiating among traditional and new and emerging partners. It will, as in previous reports, include a final section with its overall conclusions and policy recommendations delineated by actor: African countries, OECD-DAC partners, and new and emerging development partners.

Learn More about the Thematic Focuses

Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization and Regional Integration

Industrialisation and regional integration are key elements in Africa’s economic transformation agenda, central to its Agenda 2063 vision of ‘a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development’ (Aspiration 1), and an integrated continent (Aspiration 2), and essential to enabling resource-based economies to diversify and increase value-addition. Industrialization is also the subject of SDG 9, and the UN General Assembly has since adopted a resolution specifically proclaiming 2016-25 as the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa. There are strong linkages to the relevant UN and African follow-up processes. The inclusion of this theme thus provides an opportunity to follow up on the review of SDG 9 in the 2017 High Level Political Forum (HLPF), complementing this by adding a specific focus on Africa, ensuring synergies between the UNMM and the HLPF processes. It will also capture the outcomes of the various discussions and reviews currently underway including in ECOSOC, as well as linking with Africa’s priorities set out in Agenda 2063, and follow-up processes.

More specifically, industrialisation is part of the Agenda 2063 goal of Transformed Economies (Goal 4), essential to the attainment of many of the targets in its First-Ten Year Implementation Plan. Related continental initiatives include the Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa (AIDA). Closely related is fast-tracking the establishment of the objective of a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), one of the key Agenda 2063 flagship programmes, as well as the development of information and communication technology including E-education, and regional projects such as the High Speed Train.

For their part, Africa’s partners have undertaken in SDG 9 to promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, with related targets including facilitating access to finance and upgrading the technological capabilities of industrial sectors. They have undertaken in SDG 17 to improve access to their markets, and promote technology transfer. This theme will now address both issues specifically in relation to industrialisation. The G20 also undertook at the 2016 Hangzhou Summit to consider a range of actions to support structural transformation and industrialisation in African and other Least Developed Countries (LDCs). This section will also examine support for ICT, including e-education, and regional projects.

Health, Water and Sanitation

Improved healthcare is a central goal in both Agenda 2063 and the SDGs. It is the first time since the launch of the UNMM in 2013 that the theme is taken up in the report. The provision of clean water and sanitation is also essential to achieving improved health outcomes, including the survival and health of mothers and children. Rather than reviewing one sector in isolation, this theme addresses both together, with a specific focus on the issue of financial resources. There are strong linkages to the relevant UN and African processes. The inclusion of this composite theme thus provides an opportunity to follow up on the review of SDGs 3 and 6 in the 2017 and 2018 HLPFs, again complementing the HPLFs by adding a specific focus on Africa, and ensuring synergies between the UNMM and the HLPF processes, and with Africa’s priorities.

More specifically, Agenda 2063 has placed emphasis on expanding access to quality health care services, particularly for women and girls, within the overarching goal of healthy and well-nourished citizens (Goal 3). Through the adoption of the Abuja Declaration on HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria of 2001, African governments have pledged to allocate at least 15 per cent of their annual budget to health. The profound socio-economic impact of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has further underlined the importance of building strong and resilient national health systems.

For their part, Africa’s partners have undertaken in SDG 3 to substantially increase health financing, with a range of targets covering maternal, child and infant mortality, the control of epidemics, the provision of access to affordable essential medicines, the research and development of new vaccines, and increased health financing . Universal access to safe and affordable drinking water for all, and to adequate and equitable sanitation, have been agreed as key targets under SDG 6.

Climate Change

Climate change represents a major threat to Africa’s sustainable development, including achieving the rise in agricultural production necessary to feed a growing population and ensure food security. Thus, addressing the spectre of climate change will be indispensable to African countries achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and aspirations of the Agenda 2063.

Africa and partners have made extensive commitments on sustainability, covering biodiversity, conservation and climate change, reflected both in Agenda 2063 and SDGs 13, 14 and 15. The range of issues involved is extremely wide. This section focuses specifically on climate change, following the entry into force of the Paris Agreement in November 2016. The inclusion of this theme provides an opportunity to revisit some of the issues raised in the first biennial report, assessing progress made since, and in this case feeding into the review of SDG 13 at the 2019 HLPF, whilst at the same time acknowledging the primary role of the UNFCCC. It will thus again ensure synergies with the HPLF process as well as with Africa’s own priorities.

More specifically, Africa has undertaken to strengthen climate resilience and natural disasters preparedness, including through integrating these objectives into national policies, planning and preparedness (Agenda 2063, Goal 7). In this context, sustainable agriculture and the sustainable use of water resources are both key to the success of SDG 13 efforts.

For their part, developed-country partners to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNCCC) have committed under SDG 13 and the Paris Agreement to providing US$ 100 billion annually by 2020 to help developing countries adapt to climate change. They have also committed under the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol to reducing carbon emissions over 2013-2020 in order to limit future climate change.

Finance and Partnerships

Achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 depends on the availability of the necessary finance from domestic and external, and public and private sources. The Inter-Agency Taskforce on the follow-up to the Financing for Development outcomes and means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (IATF on FfD) tracks progress on all commitments under the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. The UNMM will bring a focused analysis on Africa, complementing the work of the Taskforce. The inclusion of this theme provides an opportunity to revisit the issues raised in the first biennial report, assessing progress since, and feeding into the wider reviews of SDGs 10 and 16 at the 2019 HLPF, as well as the annual reviews at each HPLF of SDG 17. It will thus ensure synergies with the HLPF process, the work of the Inter-Agency Taskforce on Financing for Development, and Africa’s priorities.

More specifically, Africa has undertaken to strengthen domestic resource mobilisation (DRM) as a key element of Agenda 2063 (Goal 20) including : public/fiscal revenue maximisation through the strengthening and broadening of the tax base, the mobilisation of private resources through increased domestic and intra-African investment, the development of capital markets, the leveraging of institutional financial resources such as pension funds, and the increased use of innovative financing including Public and Private Partnerships (PPPs), combined with measures to encourage and facilitate the flows of remittances. It has also undertaken to tackle the problem of illicit financial flows, by implementing recommendations of the High Level Panel on this issue chaired by former South African President Tambo Mbeki. There are important links to the issue of regional integration, including the development of African capital markets, and of closer regional cooperation to tackle illicit financial flows.

For their part, partners have reiterated under SDG 17 (Targets 17.2, 17.3) their earlier commitments to mobilise official resource flows including Official Development Assistance (ODA), with a specific target relating to Africa and least developed countries under SDG 10 (Target 10b). They have also undertaken under SDG 16 (Target 16.4) to reduce illicit financial flows and take stronger action to identify, recover and return stolen assets. There are also in addition various bilateral partnerships including with China (FOCAC), Japan, the US, the EU, Turkey, Brazil and India.

Cross-cutting Issues
  • Peace and Security:
    Peace and security are pre-conditions for development, and embodied in Agenda 2063 (Aspiration 4). This topic was reviewed in the second (2016) report, and will be revisited in future reports. It also emerges as a cross-cutting theme in this report, including as one of the potential effects of climate change as this impacts on the availability of scarce resources. Fully resourcing the Peace Fund established by the AU in July 2016 is also a key financial priority.
  • Gender and Youth:
    Harnessing the potential of women and youth, and the demographic dividend, is essential to achieving the inclusive and sustainable economic growth which lies at the heart of both Agenda 2063 and the SDGs. The Africa Gender Scorecard (2015) highlighted widespread gender inequalities and exclusion. These issues were addressed in the second report in 2016. Progress towards SDG 5 will now be reviewed at the 2017 HLPF. The inclusion of this issue in the next report will add a specific and updated focus on Africa, and the challenges facing Africa’s youth.
  • Education:
    Improving education and training opportunities is essential for reaping the benefits of Africa’s demographic dividend, and achieving prosperity for all. Its importance is reflected in the new Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA) adopted by the AU in 2016, as well as SDG 4 and Agenda 2063 Goal 2.
  • Migration:
    Migration relates to each of the individual themes. The free movement of labour is a fundamental part of the process of regional integration. Containing cross-border disease outbreaks does however present challenges, as shown by the Ebola case. Climate-related drought and famine emergencies can trigger cross-border migratory pressures, with potential conflict over scarce resources. But increased migration also creates new potential for remittances, as shown by the increased transfers by African migrants to their region or country of origin.
  • Wider Partnership Issues:
    As Africa becomes increasingly successful in mobilising domestic resources, the importance of the many other dimensions in its external partnerships, compared to financial flows, will increase. The report provides an opportunity to give a more rounded picture of Africa’s maturing partnerships in the post-2015 world, and contribute to any future HPLF review of progress towards SDG17.
  • Data Availability and Statistical Capacity:
    The data required to monitor the large number of goals, targets and indicators of the SDGs and Agenda 2063 is immense and beyond the current resources and capacity of most African countries. Data deficits undermine their ability to establish baselines, track progress and reinforce evidence-based policy-making. The inclusion of this issue provides an opportunity to assess the extent of the challenges and progress in tackling these.

2017 Consultations

Bangkok, Thailand, on 29 - 30 June 2017

Paris, France, on 16 - 17 May 2017

Midrand, South Africa, on 20 - 21 April 2017