Africa and the Sustainable Development Goals: Are the SDGs and Agenda 2063 Complementary policies?

Africa, largely by passed by previous industrial revolutions stands in a unique position to reap the benefits of Economic growth with the balance of evidence suggesting that the next half century in Africa offers good prospects for realizing the African vision of a dynamic, diversified and competitive economic zone, a new economic frontier, an important growth pole for economic recovery through the  African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the World’s vision 2030 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2013, the African Union (AU) member states crafted an African driven vision “Agenda 2063 “The Africa We Want” that outlines how the African continent should look in 50 years based on the pillars of wealth generation, regional integration, and attainment of a peaceful society, all driven by Africans. In 2015, UN member states unanimously adopted the 2030 Agenda, which balances the dimensions of economic, social and environmental development, underpinned by good governance. Agenda 2063 builds on, and seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives such as the 1980 Lagos Plan of Action and the 1991 Abuja Treaty, and builds on national, regional, continental best practices in its formulation for growth and sustainable development. The agendas include specific sets of goals, with Agenda 2063 (A2063) having 20 goals with 174 targets, while the SDGs has 17 goals and 169 corresponding targets. Regardless, both the SDGs and A2063 are not two standalone development projects but are highly aligned and strongly linked, necessitating the move by both the AU and the UN, to agree, in January 2018, to a shared institutional framework, meant to ensure a harmonized integration of both agendas into member states national plans. Alongside the two, SDGs and A2063, is the African Development Bank (AfDB) 10-year strategy (2013-2022) High Fives Priority areas (Hi5s – Light Up and Power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa).

Interlinkages of Agenda 2030, A2063 and the AfDB High fives. Source: SDG Center for Africa’s SDG, 2018.