THE sixth edition of the African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development kicks off in Victoria Falls today with a highly-packed programme of top-level engagement in what government of Zimbabwe describes as one of the most “over-subscribed” regional events.
Speaking after a closed-door meeting with United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Jane Mohammed, Public Service,Labour and Social Welfare, minister, Paul Mavhima said the forum is an opportunity for Zimbabwe to reflect on the progress made with regards to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals.
“We are happy that we are hosting this program as it highlights some of the things we need to do and it also highlights the best practices we have implemented.
Turning on to the state of preparedness to host the event, Minister Mavhima said, “We have indications that we will have more than 3000 delegates. Our hotels are fully subscribed and today we start with the science and technology forum and the president will officially open the whole program tomorrow.”
Reflecting on the progress made by Zimbabwe in terms of implementing SDGs, he said,” We have done well in some areas such as health and to some extent health. We have quite a number of Challenges that are related to our economy, we are working on those challenges. We have to push the industrialization agenda and the decent work agenda. We have to be ready for the ravages of climate change and in all those areas we will need international partners.”
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Executive Secretary, Dr Vera Shongwe described the event as one of the biggest events on the United Nations calendar.
“We are delighted to be hosting this event and the main reason why we are here is to launch what we are calling the UN decade of action 2020 to 2030. We would like that no African is left behind as we try to develop and ensure prosperity for all. Prosperity means we create jobs for both women and youth,” Ms Songwe said.
The 6th ARFSD, which being convened jointly by (UNECA) and the Government of Zimbabwe in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank and other United Nations entities will run from Monday 24 February 2020 to 27 February 2020. The Forum is running under the theme “2020-2030: A Decade to Deliver a Transformed and Prosperous Africa through the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.
The 6th ARFSD will undertake a review of all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and corresponding goals of Agenda 2063.