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The Launch of the Africa SDG Index and Dashboards 2018 Report

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Kigali: Today, the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa (SDGC/A) in partnership with the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) held the launch the Africa SDG Index and Dashboards 2018 Report, at the Africa Union Conference Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. During the launch, the report was presented to 100 participants including African Ambassadors to Ethiopia, Permanent Representatives to the Commission of the African Union, heads of UN agencies, representatives from government and various stakeholders.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal agenda of sustainable development, calling on all nations to pursue a holistic strategy that combines economic development, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability, on a basis of good governance.

The purpose of the SDG Index and Dashboards is to assist countries to benchmark their SDG performance, to identify priorities for action in order to achieve the 17 SDGs, and to highlight specific challenges facing African nations and sub-regions. It also serves to determine data gaps, help ensure data consistency, and identify ways to use unofficial data to complement official statistics.

They draw on official SDG indicators and seek to fill data gaps using trusted sources that are internationally comparable.

As the SDGC/A works with governments and other partners in Africa to help build and strengthen capacity on data and statistical systems to better monitor their performance of the SDGs; the Africa SDG Index and Dashboards are a tool to track progress toward the SDGs, to help pinpoint key implementation challenges and to provide an opportunity to assist countries in benchmarking their SDG performance against their African peers.

51 countries are included in the index rank and 54 African countries have country dashboards. During the presentation of the report, the results indicate that of the six countries in North Africa, Morocco ranks first followed by Tunisia (2nd), Algeria (4th), Cape Verde (5th) and Egypt (7th).

In sub-Saharan Africa of the 48 countries, Mauritius ranks third, followed by Ghana (6th), Gabon (8th), South Africa (9th) and ending the top 10 with the island of São Tomé and Príncipe.

During the welcoming remarks, Dr Belay Begashaw, Director General of the SDGC/A, indicated that the SDGs are not a new agenda, however it is essential to do things differently and execute in a way that leverages synergies between the SDGs.

“The Africa SDG Index and Dashboards were created to provide the continent with more specific information on country and regional snapshot of SDG performance, implementation gaps and challenges; support national and regional development, policies and resource prioritization; and complement official sustainable development monitoring efforts. The report is a call to action for governments and a tool for inclusiveness,” Dr. Begashaw stated.

In addition, the Director General highlighted that to achieve the SDGs, government strategy must be reoriented as “national efforts and agendas will never be sufficient in isolation.” Therefore, the SDGs require broad continental and global partnership, and certainly require a radical re-imagination of multi-stakeholder policy design and implementation.

Dr. Begashaw indicated that the Africa SDG Index and Dashboards 2018 Report focuses efforts on the SDGs with new information on where they stand. The Dashboards will help each African country narrate their own development by identifying priorities for action, understanding key implementation challenges, and identifying gaps that must be closed in order to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

During the launch, the high level delegates had the opportunity to contribute ideas and experiences that will help contextualize and improve the Africa SDG Index and Dashboard. The report will serve to support national and regional discussions on where each country stands with regards to achieving the SDGs and AU 2063 Agenda, as well as which metrics might be useful to track progress efficiently.

Elements of the Agenda 2063 have been incorporated; in particular some measures of continental integration, a core component of this African agenda, were added into the metrics in Goal 17. As a result of this African focus, the Africa SDG Index and Dashboards better allows each country to understand its situation and compare itself within the region and with peers at similar levels of overall social and economic development and to fast track the implementation of both development agendas in Africa.

It was highlighted that achieving the SDGs will require tradeoffs between politics and development; requiring a deep commitment to cross-border, international partnership.

“This will not be easy. Current global challenges thus require coordinated actions, which may involve costs and conflicting goals among countries. Both global social welfare and that of individual nations, however, cannot be achieved if each individual country is not willing to give up something and to devote efforts to multilateral cooperation,” Dr. Begashaw stated.

The SDGC/A hopes to see African governments move towards enhancing and investing in national statistical monitoring systems, as Dr. Begashaw noted, “we hope this report supports African discussions about priorities in achieving the SDGs and that it is operationalized into a tool for national and regional discussion and planning.”

Additionally, the report highlights that adequate resourcing of national statistical systems is crucial. It is evident that the need is clear and investments in national statistics systems and data production have increased.

The Official Development Assistance (ODA) focused on data and statistics formed part of these resources: ODA to statistics globally was 0.30% in 2015, which is a slight improvement on the last decade’s average of 0.27%. African countries received 56% of this statistical support on average for the years 2013- 2015 (PARIS21, 2017).

During this year, the SDGC/A will work with country representatives to engage national stakeholders in discussions and the establishment of the Africa SDG Index Day.

“Our vision is for an official day on which all African countries will convene stakeholders in their respective countries around the SDGs, with this report a useful tool for analysis and action. The “Africa SDG Day” would allow all actors to discuss appropriate SDG strategies given their national contexts and the findings of this and related reports. Additionally, we hope that the results of this report are disseminated in creative ways into local communities with SDGC/A’s Citizens Report” in order to spark collective and inclusive engagement on ways communities can contextualize the SDGs and spur on progress.

About SDGC/A: The Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa (SDGC/A) is an autonomous international organization, that provides technical support, and expertise as input to national governments, private sector, civil society, academic institutions to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda across Africa.

The SDGC/A builds upon the existing successes of the African continent by bringing together people, ideas, and innovation from across the world to collectively build a more sustainable future. (End)


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