Africa has been urged to fight the scourge of corruption and enhance peace and security to expedite achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa made the call on Tuesday while opening the Sixth Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) underway in the resort town of Victoria Falls.
The conference, which ends today, is being held to review Africa's progress in implementing the SDGs.
The forum, organised in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), is running under the theme: " 2020-2030: A Decade to Deliver a Transformed and Prosperous Africa through the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063."
"The scourge of corruption impedes and robs our continent of meaningful development and the achievement of an improved standard of life of our people," Mnangagwa said.
He said the continent must continue to make efforts toward maintaining peace and security through silencing guns and ending all forms of conflict.
The continent, he said, must also harness its agricultural, mining and private sector potential, implement robust strategies to fight climate change, invest in high technology and empower its informal sectors to speed up attainment of the SDGs.
"It is regrettable that generally, the funding gap for SDGs in Africa remains large and weighs down on the attainment of SDGs on the continent. An array of investment in agriculture and its associate value chains is the starting point in addressing hunger and extreme poverty which stubbornly cling to the narratives of Africa," he said.
He also decried Western sanctions on Zimbabwe, saying these were affecting the country's capacity to expedite implementation of the SDGs.
"The illegal and unjustified economic sanctions continue to impede the speed with which we attain the SDGs," he said.
The high profile dignitaries attending the high-level forum include United Nations (UN) Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, UN under secretary general and executive secretary of UNECA Vera Songwe and African Union Commission deputy chairperson Kwesi Quartey. -Xinhua