COVID-19:  A STAIN to SDGs 2030 in Africa – Straining further efforts for more inclusiveness

The year 2020 had started-off as a year of promise of a Decade of Action, aimed at accelerating the achievement of sustainable development goals at all levels, global, national and at people level. Unfortunately, this coincided with the emergence of COVID-19 that translated into both a health and economic crisis, with downside ramifications for SDGs globally and in Africa. Already Africa was largely off track on meeting the SDGs.  In 2019, the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa report "Africa 2030: Sustainable Development Goals Three-Year Reality Check” revealed that progress on SDGs was below the trajectory to the requisite pace for meeting the 2030 targets and social inclusion remained a big challenge. Africa remained the world’s poorest region, yet to undergo demographic transition and faces nearly across-the-board challenges in meeting the human-centred SDGs.

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Rolling out the MANSA Platform

The SDGCA entered into a collaborative agreement with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the foremost Pan-African Multilateral Financial Institution devoted to financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade.

One of the key areas of collaboration is to facilitate the roll out of the MANSA Platform – a platform for Customer Due Diligence (CDD)/Know Your Customer (KYC) issues, with a special emphasis on African financial institutions and corporates. The Mansa Platform provides a single source of primary data required for performing customer due diligence checks on counterparties in Africa.

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The onboarding process to the platform involve: a) African Financial Institutions and Corporate Entities will contribute and upload their information on the Mansa Platform portal using standardized KYC/AML templates. This process is free. b) Information uploaded will be independently verified and validated by the Compliance Unit at Afreximbank, in collaboration with African regulators and other parties such as African compliance bodies. c) Subscribers will be able to view and download CDD/KYC information on African Corporates, SMEs and African Financial institutions upon verification of Information.

Collaboration agreement signed between Absa bank and SDG Center for Africa 

The overarching objectives of the partnership is to enhance SDGs financing in Zambia and in the African continent by developing and implementing innovative sources of sustainable finance mechanisms. The partnership between Absa Bank and The SDGCA will facilitate a long-term collaboration between the two institutions based on their similar and complementary interest and capacities, and reflect their willingness to work together on key matters related to designing and implementation of innovative and sustainable sources of financing that contributes to achievement of the SDGs.

Agreement signed between Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR) and SDG Center for Africa

The collaboration  reflect  both parties willingness to work together on key matters related to promoting financial inclusion and financial sector development, which is vital to the achievement of Rwanda’s National Strategy for Transformation (NST1), Vision 2050 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Role of National Development Banks (NDBs) for Increased Investment to Respond to COVID-19 Crisis and Africa’s Transformation

The mutually supportive transformational agendas of African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 and UN SDGs 2030 aim to promote inclusive growth and environment sustainability without leaving any one behind.  The respective agenda flagship projects are transformational projects, which have potential to create huge opportunities for private and public investments. However, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, African countries were facing significant financing gaps to meet the investment required for achievement of the agendas.  According to the  2019 Sustainable Development Center for Africa report titled Africa 2030 SDGs three-year reality check, the financing gap for SDGs is estimated in excess of USD 500 billion, more than Africa’s annual collective domestic revenue.  COVID-19 is posing unprecedented challenges in mobilizing adequate financial resources for sustainable development and hence further undermining prospect for achieving SDGs in Africa. IMF Regional Economic Outlook for Sub Saharan Africa indicates that the pandemic and associated health and economic crisis has contributed to tightening of international financial conditions, drastic falling of domestic revenue and increasing spending to mitigate the negative effects of the pandemic on health and economic activities. Debt vulnerabilities have been increasing from time to time – exacerbated by COVID-19.

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SDGCA formalizes relations with Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

SDGCA and APRM signed a Collaborative Memorandum of Understanding at the Margins of the APRM capacity-building workshop on Africa's Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) for the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) 2021 and Agenda 2063 Reporting Framework in Djibouti on 21st - 23rd February 2021. The main objective of this framework of cooperation is to strengthen collaboration in order to accelerate the achievement of African Agenda 2063 and the Global SDGs Agenda 2030, capitalizing on each party’s comparative advantage. Specifically, the planned activities include organization of annual VNRs continental workshop as a follow up to the HLPF and United Nations General Assembly resolutions to strengthen the African Union’s role in the regional coordination among African countries and promote VNR peer-learning and best practices between African Union member states. In line with this collaboration, SDGCA reviewed and authored chapter two of the APRM baseline report on the United Nations Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) principles.

SDGCA’s role in APRM capacity-building workshop on Africa's VNR for the HLPF 2021 and Agenda 2063 Reporting Framework.

SDGCA participated and made presentations in the APRM capacity-building workshop on Africa's VNRs for the HLPF 2021 and Agenda 2063 Reporting Framework in Djibouti on 21-23rd February 2021.

Dr. Enock Nyorekwa Twinoburyo, the SDGCA senior economist discussed the financing upheaval for SDGs and AU 2063 in the wake of unprecedented COVID-19, while Ms. Olive Dushime, the SDGCA Monitoring & Reporting specialist made a presentation on data monitoring and reporting for SDGs.

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SDGCA showcases the MRS for SDGs and signs MoU with Ministry of National planning in Lusaka

African countries are required to report progress on the implementation of the development agendas 2030 and 2063. The success of the global agenda for SDGs, regional commitments and national priorities highly depends on efficient and robust Monitoring and Reporting System (MRS) for its progress. Operationalization and ultimate achievement of the SDGs, African Union (AU) agenda 2063 aspirations and regional commitments at the country level requires clear baselines, public discussions about implementation priorities, the design of goal-based strategies, and effective follow-through mechanisms.

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