A new report has cited financial, data and implementation gaps among the three major challenges to efficient implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), putting the African continent at a point whereby only three goals are likely to meet the 2030 target.
Africa is largely off-track in relation to economic growth, social inclusion and the environment, the three pillars of the Sustainable Development Goals, according to the report.
The Sustainable Development Goals Three-Year Reality Check, was launched at the closure of Sustainable Development Goals implementation in Africa conference, on Friday in the capital Kigali.
It was done by the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa (SDGC/A), making an assessment of the last three years of progress.
Africa is partly on track for three goals related to Equality, Climate and Life on land.
On challenges, data gaps for monitoring SDGs remain large; only 4 in 10 indicators in the global SDG framework have data, the report said, noting that even where data exists, it is mostly outdated or incomparable.
The limited data profile makes evidence-based planning difficult, and compromises the transparency and eventual accountability, said the authors.
On finance, the report observed that globally, the financing for SDGs has not materialized and, for African economies, the funding gap remains large.
African governments have funding shortfall of about $500 billion to fully reach the 1.2 trillion annual funding to achieve universal access to modern energy services, basic infrastructure, food security, health, security and climate change mitigation by 2030, according to the report.
The report noted that at the international level, there has been little sense of urgency about the 2030 Agenda and key stakeholders have failed to generate the requisite momentum, which seriously undermined implementation efforts.
Africa started off worse than all the other regions in terms of SDG performance, it noted. Progress has been uneven across the regions, but North Africa is the most stable, it said.
Of the 13 goals that have sufficient data, it is considered likely that 10 goals will not be achieved by 2030, according to the report.
On No Poverty goal, the report said progress over the long term has been made, but only in relative terms. In absolute numbers, poverty has increased, it said.
On Zero Hunger goal with the exception of North Africa, food insecurity in Africa persists at a rate of over 25 percent, showed the report.
Speaking at the report launch, President Paul Kagame said this is an opportunity to work with Africa’s partners in new and better ways, and deliver human-scale projects that directly touch the lives of farmers, families, and schoolchildren.
“We are already one-quarter of the way to 2030. Africa can definitely make up for lost time but we need a much faster pace,” he said.
Zambian President Edgar Lungu called for collective effort with the private sector to deliver on the targets, while Vice President of Liberia Jewel C. Howard-Taylor said “If there is a vision and collective will everything will be possible.”
Belay Begashaw, director general of the SDGC/A said any realistic solutions for SDG financing in Africa will bear fruit if it is conceived and promoted from within Africa.
World leaders in 2015 committed to 17 SDGs which include eradicating extreme poverty, universal access to quality education, zero hunger as well as fixing climate change among others.
The conference which opened on Wednesday closed Friday after reflecting on three-year journey so as to make recommendations on the path forward towards SDGs achievement in Africa by 2030.