For the first time, The United Republic of Tanzania became one of the forty-seven (47) countries to participate in the United Nations High Level Political Forum Sharing Session. The session took place at the Protea Courtyard Hotel in Dar-es-Salaam, from the 9th to the 18th of July 2019. This year’s theme was “empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”.
The various participants of the meeting came from different Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), as well as, Community Based Organizations (CBOs) that work on the implementation, follow up and review of the Sustainable Development Goals. This year, the six (6) goals reviewed were, Goal 4 (Quality Education), Goal 8 (Decent work and Economic growth), Goal 10 (Reduced Inequalities), Goal 13 (Climate Action), Goal 16 (Peace, Justice and strong Institutions), and Goal 17 (Partnership for the goals).
The main objectives of this conference were to exchange the successes, challenges, best practices and lessons learned from the key stakeholders. Secondly, it was to launch and share the Voluntary National Review (VNR) Report on the Sustainable Development Goals, in addition to discussing the way forward on the implementation process by the CSOs and CBOs.
During the meeting, it was discovered that there was an inadequate resource for readily available data to measure the progress made towards the goals, the efforts put into the goals were imbalanced, a majority of the population have insufficient knowledge of the goals, most of the goals were misinterpreted, and prejudice against Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) is still prevailing.
To combat these challenges it was concluded that, effective data capturing tools had to be identified and used, more inclusion should be emphasized during the High Level Political Forum participation, the Civil Society Organizations and the Voluntary National Report should appropriately be used for advocacy and engagement works, there should be consistent consultation with the appropriate stakeholders to avoid unnecessary inconveniences, innovative ways should be created to educate the community on the goals, and Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) should be given various priorities.
After discussing the abovementioned challenges and proposed solutions, it was concluded that Africa as a continent is failing to keep up with the set targets of the Sustainable Development Goals due to the low progress made in the implementation process of these Global goals. Furthermore, it is predicted that no African country will achieve any of these targets by the year 2030. Additionally, it was found that the deterioration of the civic space has become a global concern, and governments have been legislating laws that suppress non state actors (CSOs included) from working freely.
To conclude, African governments and people need to work hard to meet these set targets to levitate the continent from the unfortunate abyss called poverty.