Zambia and Rwanda are on the verge of launching the Sustainable Development Goals Sub-Regional Center for southern Africa. President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame has already reached Zambia's capital, Lusaka where he will join the south African country's Head of State Edgar Lungu for the launch.
Rwanda's Head of State, Paul Kagame has said that now this is the right time for the African nations to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He is presiding over the unveiling of the SDGs Sub-Regional Center for southern Africa in Lusaka in his capacity as the Chair of the Board of the SDGs Centre for Africa.
"Time is of the essence. 2030 is only a decade away, and our continent is not on track to meet the targets. The ambitious goals represent real, tangible progress in the well-being of our people, namely; improvements to health, economic opportunity, gender parity, and environmental protection, to name just a few," Paul Kagame said, as reported by The New Times.
Launched three years ago, Rwanda took the credit of hosting the SDGs Center for Africa where 193 members of the UN signed up. This new center is to be launched amid a 200-page report launched in June this year which claimed that Africa was not on track to achieve the 2030 SDGs target set by the UN. During that time, Paul Kagame said, "Even the best amongst us are lagging behind the rest of the world." "This would not be necessarily discouraging, if the rate of change was high, we all know where Africa is coming from, and how much catching up we have to do. However, on too many indicators, the pace is stagnant or even declining. The facts cannot be avoided and merit our full attention," he added.
While the new center is on the verge of getting launched, Alexander Chiteme, Zambian Minister of National Development Planning said in a statement, "The sub-regional center will assist southern African countries to unlock bottlenecks that hinder the smooth implementation of the SDGs and help achieve the goals."
The launching ceremony will take place in the presence of over 200 government officials, international organizations, experts etc who will discuss and share their opinions on issues related to the implementation of SDGs in Southern Africa. The launch of Lusaka SDGC/A Sub-Regional Center will further follow the signing of host country agreement in September 2018 in the city of New York between the government of Zambia and the SDG Centre for Africa.
Even African countries like Liberia have already committed to hosting the West Africa center. For those who may not know more about SDGs, these are a set of 17 global goals to be achieved by 2030 set by the UN. Those 17 goals are no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry-innovation and infrastructure, reducing inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, life on land, peace-justice and strong institutions and partnerships for the goals.
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