President Paul Kagame has called on African countries to keep up the momentum of self-reliance as enshrined in the African Union institutional reforms in a bid to move faster to achieving the Sustainable Goals (SDGs).
He said African countries also need to continue building the capacity to generate revenues domestically to entrench a sense of ownership of the SDGs, reduce dependence on ever scarce funding, and ensure sustainability of results.
Kagame made the remarks as he spoke at the 2018 Global Citizen SDG Reception at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The reception was hosted by Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway and President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana.
The Global Citizens’ Initiative defines a “global citizen’’ as someone who identifies with being part of an emerging world community and whose actions contribute to building this community’s values and practices.
Kagame said the Global Citizen Festival and the energized network the organization has created, is a good example of the support that the SDGs continue attract.
“This goodwill is welcome, and we need to harness it appropriately. Channeling commitments made through the relevant national, and regional institutions, empowers them and increases accountability and impact,” Kagame said.
“Our countries also need to continue building the capacity to generate revenues domestically so that we can entrench a sense of ownership of the SDGs, reduce dependence on ever scarce funding, and ensure sustainability of results,” President Kagame said, adding that “We are encouraged by the good progress in the institutional reform of the African Union, which is already enhancing self-financing, efficiency and coordination.”
“Let us take advantage of this momentum, to collaborate even more productively with our global partners, and move faster towards attaining the SDGs by 2030,” Kagame urged.
The Global Citizen Festival 2018 was celebrated by celebrating also 100 years since Nelson Mandela was born.
On Mandela, Kagame said: “He [Mandela] never gave up on Africa. He believed that Africa’s children can achieve anything. It is our responsibility to continue building on his legacy. We must commit to ensuring good nutrition for our children, and eliminating the preventable diseases that threaten Africa’s potential.”
To African youth, President Kagame said: “We need Africa’s young people to be fierce advocates for these goals. You are so well represented tonight here in Soweto, and you make us proud. Together, we can build the Africa we want.”