Zimbabwe is ready to host the Sixth Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) that will be held in Victoria Falls from 24 to 27 February under the theme '2020-2030: A Decade to Deliver a Transformed and Prosperous Africa through the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063."
This was said Monday by the country's acting Labour, Public Service and Social Welfare Minister, Sekai Nzenza, at a Press Conference on the forthcoming Forum.
"The Forum gives Zimbabwe an opportunity to showcase itself, especially that the country is really open for business and also what the country can offer in terms of tourism. It is also a great opportunity for the country to establish strategic alliances on SDGs as we continue to reengage with the rest of the world," said Ms. Nzenza.
She said Zimbabwe is fully committed to the sustainable development goals agenda and the African Union's Agenda 2063.
"In addition to economic benefits such as revenue inflows which accrue from hosting more than 1,200 delegates, the Forum presents various opportunities for the country such as sharing success stories in the implementation of SDGs in other countries on the continent; leadership at the High Level Political Forum; and marketing our tourism industry," the Minister said.
For his part, Mr. Sizo Mhlanga, Chief of Sub-Regional Initiatives in the Economic Commission for Africa's (ECA) Southern Africa Office, said notwithstanding progress in the implementation of the Agendas 2030 and 2063, available assessments showed that most African countries were off track to achieve the SDGs and goals of Agenda 2063 within the set time frame.
"There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to ensure that we are back on track to achieve the SDGs and goals of Agenda 2063," said Mr. Mhlanga.
The decade 2020 to 2030 presents an opportunity and a window of hope for Africa to dramatically speed up the pace and expand the scale of implementation to deliver the regional and global goals.
The ARFSD is an annual multi-stakeholder platform organized jointly by the ECA and the host government in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank and other entities of the United Nations System.
It brings together Ministers, senior officials, experts and practitioners from UN member States, private sector, civil society, academia and UN organisations to follow-up, review and catalyse actions to achieve the SDGs that were adopted by UN member States in September 2015.
The Sixth ARFSD will review all the 17 SDGs and corresponding goals of Agenda 2063. The goals will be clustered around the five Ps - People, Prosperity, Planet, Peace and Partnerships.
This session of the ARFSD is expected, among other things, to contribute to strengthened capacity of the 2020 voluntary national reviews (VNR) for countries to undertake their reviews and present their reports at the 2020 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July.
Five sessions of the Forum have been held since 2015.