Taarifa Rwanda

Africa Is Off Track With Most Sustainable Development Goals – Kagame

Current assessments indicate that Africa is off track with most Sustainable Development Goals, President Kagame said on Tuesday in Brussels.

“As we approach the upcoming SDG Summit in September, the African Union and the United Nations will be working closely together to speed up the pace of results,” he said.

President Kagame was speaking at the European Development Days (EDD) where he spoke at the opening ceremony.

This meeting is held under the theme “Inequalities: trends and challenges in the context of globalisation”.

“Four years down the line, he said, “the downsides of globalisation are contributing to uneven development, even in advanced economies, but we also have an opportunity to do things differently.”

President Kagame said that adopting the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 was an acknowledgement of the need for global cooperation to ensure the well-being and dignity of all the world’s people.

He said that while industrialised nations become more preoccupied, and why not, with domestic and regional matters, “Africa is also starting to come together to assert our interests with one voice.”

The President noted tha one of the most significant recent achievements in expanding the horizon of opportunities is the African Continental Free Trade Area, which will be formally launched next month at the African Union Summit in Niger.

As a result,  he said, “There is more work ahead to make sure that this agreement results in increased prosperity for all our people but we are eager to get started.The task of addressing inequality has always been the primary responsibility of each individual country.”

Meanwhile, while opening conference, the 13th edition held in Brussels, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said there has always been belief that the European commitment in the world and for the world should not just be charity.

“The era of charity is over. What we need is partnership, a true partnership between equals, that can provide and create mutual benefits,” he said.

Juncker made similar remarks in his 2017 EDD speech.

He said then that “There cannot be differences made between those who give and those who receive, between Europe and Africa …This is a partnership of equals.”

Senegalese President, Macky Sall, who also attended the meeting, emphasized Jancker’s point of view.

He said, “When we say that we want a partnership that is based on equality, even though we don’t all bring the same means to this, in the context of globalization, what that means is that solutions that need to be put forward are global solutions, shared solutions.”

He suggested that, instead, “…these European Development Days should take place once in Brussels and then perhaps once in another capital, in Africa or the Caribbean or the Pacific, to alternate the host city.” “On behalf of Senegal, I would like to say that we would welcome you any time, if you want to come.”

Some conferences have been criticized for including few representatives from lower-income countries.

Last year, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said it was considering moving its global health conferences outside the United Kingdom, after a number of researchers from Africa and Asia were denied visas to attend, according to devex.com.



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