President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has admonished African leaders to strengthen their commitment and scale up the momentum in the implementation of the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“We have to implement the SDGs with great gusto,” he told his peers.
Addressing African leaders on the sidelines of the ongoing African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, yesterday, he said: “We have the capacities, creativity, knowledge and resources to lead the world in the implementation of the SDGs. So let us be up and doing. The SDGs are about hope and they are investments for our future — the future of our youth and that of generations yet unborn.”
He said the implementation of the SDGs was the best way to guarantee progress for the people, adding that “posterity will be the judge of our determination and resolve”.
President Akufo-Addo was joined by the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, who is the co-Chair of the UN SDGs, to address the African leaders.
The President noted that when the Founding Fathers of the then Organisation of Africa Unity (OAU), which metamorphosed into the AU, met in Addis Ababa in 1963 to adopt the OAU Charter, their overarching aspirations were the attainment of freedom, equality, justice and dignity and the economic transformation of the African continent, driven by the continent’s immense natural and human resources.
“Today, those aspirations are embodied both in the 2030 UN SDGs and in the AU’s Agenda 2063,” he added.
Agenda of SDGs
With the global community collectively adopting the noble agenda of the SDGs as a framework to tackle the many challenges that currently confronted the world, he said, he was convinced that “17 SDGs present our generation with a great opportunity to fight inequality on all fronts, wipe out extreme poverty, tackle the issues of climate change, reverse the degradation and unsustainable use of our environmental and marine resources, transform our economies and bring enhanced prosperity to our peoples”.
“The strong degree of convergence between the SDGs and Agenda 2063 makes it imperative that we leverage implementation of the SDGs to achieve the goals and objectives of our Agenda 2063. With the substantial progress that our continent is making on many fronts, I stand firmly with those who say that ‘this is Africa’s moment’,” he added.
However, in order to fully capture the ambitions of the African people, he urged African leaders to take advantage of the opportunities that the SDGs presented.
President Akufo-Addo recalled that the SDGs took inspiration from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were instigated by the bold vision of one of the continent’s most illustrious sons, the former UN Secretary-General, the late Kofi Annan.
He noted that “success in the implementation of the SDGs is exactly what Kofi Annan would have wished”.