What Is The Status Of Sustainable Development In Africa?

African progress towards meeting the different Sustainable Development Goals is commendable. The governments have predominantly worked towards efforts to ensure that the countries improve and then complete the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2023. Recent Reports from the United Nations indicate that Africa is halfway through meeting the SDGs. The report considers five factors: partnerships, peace, planet, people and prosperity. Today’s article will analyze the status of sustainable development in Africa and give a comprehensive overview. 

Which SDG Goals Are On Track Of Achievement?

Africa is on its way to achieving gender equality and responsible consumption and production. Women’s representation which plays a massive role in gender empowerment and equality, saw an enormous improvement. The same is visible from an increased women’s representation in the national parliaments of African countries except for Northern Africa. Another critical factor that contributes to gender equality includes account ownership by women. African countries managed to increase that,  even though the growth has been slower. 

The ratio of the female-to-male participation rate in labor has also increased. The challenges yet to be achieved include family planning with modern methods and improving the gender ratio of the mean years of education received. Africa has already significantly reduced maternal and child death in the countries. Furthermore, the incidence rates of diseases like tuberculosis, HIV and malaria are also decreasing. 

It is also on its way to achieving the goal of responsible consumption and production. It is doing exceptionally well in managing municipal solid waste, production-based nitrogen emissions and exports of plastic waste. Africa is also implementing Integrated Water Resources Management fairly. It also ensures its environmental health through low-level consumption, which results in low pollution in the continent. 

Which SDGs Need Only A Little Improvement?

The SDGs goals, which only need a tad bit of improvement for achievement, include good health and well-being, clean water and sanitization, industry, innovation and infrastructure, sustainable cities and communities, climate action and partnerships for the goals. 

Mobile broadband subscriptions witnessed an increase in Africa along with improved infrastructure related to transport and trade quality. With improved internet penetration, cybersecurity knowledge also saw a minor improvement in the country. For instance, most young urban African dwellers know they can use What Is My IP to find their IP addresses. To improve the education sector, the African government needs to increase the government budget and expenditure towards development and research. 

According to the latest report, Africa needs to work harder towards the following goals: Zero hunger, quality education, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, libel below water, life on land and peace, justice and strong institutions. 

How Can Africa Improve To Achieve The Remaining SDGs?

The key to achieving the SDGs lies in strategic planning, budgeting, and implementation. Policymakers are crucial for the same who need to focus on short- and long-term budgeting of the policies according to the priorities of the goals. Furthermore, the government must implement a proper framework to develop these policies. The governance frameworks should stay proactive and consistent. Moreover, the policies should remain flexible to meet the changing needs of society. 

The third recommendation is to identify the blockage so that the policies are articulated and implemented. Also, the government should work on digitizing financial and social services as much as possible. Many countries realized the importance of digitization during the pandemic. As a result, many companies went through digital transformation during this period. Africa also realized the same, visible from the fact that fintech startups are booming in the country. The internet and mobile penetration rate have also improved. Even though digitization is taking place in Africa, there is a need to accelerate this growth. 

In addition, Africa is a young continent, which is a massive advantage for the continent. Therefore, the government should work to absorb the continent’s youth in the economy. For the same, job creation and skill training is a must, with a focus on gender equality regarding educational access and employment. 

The pandemic significantly disrupted many countries to meet the SDG, including Africa. However, it has many accelerators available to accelerate the SDGs’ completion. Even though the accelerators will vary regionally, focusing on their vitality for proper policy design and implementation. With the functional approach utilization of the accelerators, the growth impact on multiple sectors can be considerable. Therefore, it will help benefit both medium and long-term sustainable development goals. 


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