Zimbabwe has confirmed that it will host the 6th African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD). The Forum provides a platform for peer learning and exchange, especially regarding Regional Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda on the African continent.
“ARFSD is very important as it helps us take stock of where the continent is in terms of implementing the SDGs,” said Oliver Chinganya. Director of the African Center for Statistics of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
ECA officials met with senior Zimbabwean government officials, including Minister of Labor, Public Service and Social Welfare, Sekai Nzenza, at the first preparatory meeting for the Harare City Forum.
“This is a very good opportunity for Zimbabwe to resume commitment. The development of economic growth and Vision 2030, where we see the country becoming an upper-middle-class economy by 2030, is very important to us,” she said.
Nzenza added that Zimbabwe is proud to host ARFSD, and added that the Forum is a great opportunity for the country to showcase its transition stabilization program, whose main focus is re-engagement after years of isolation.
“Presently we are not doing very well. We are lacking in many areas. There are a lot of holes, especially when you look at data be it on poverty or climate change. So the 2020 Forum needs to spur ambitious actions to help us deliver on all the goals as Africa.”
The minister also said that the climate change agenda, in particular, was one of Zimbabwe’s main focuses following the Sustainable Development Goals. The continent faced a devastating drought this year, and Cyclone Idai destroyed more than $ 1 billion worth of infrastructure in three southern African nations during the rainy season.
The continent faced a devastating drought this year, and Cyclone Idai destroyed more than $ 1 billion worth of infrastructure in three southern African nations during the rainy season.
With a concern to take action that produces results, the 2020 ARFSD aims to be action-oriented, so that stakeholders explore, gain information, share and come up with a concrete and viable set of actions that will enable African countries to achieve goals set within an estimated timeframe.
The forum will be held in the tourist town of Victoria Falls from February 24-27, 2020.