|Credit: Luckystar Miyandazi|
A while ago I wrote an article on youths and our wellbeing, you can read here if you missed it. In the article I said enough is enough. We cannot continue to have youths on the streets with no plan for the future.
By stroke of faith I happen to be at this year’s African Development Week being held in Addis, Ababa-Ethiopia from 31 March to 5th April, and good enough Growth and Development of Africa is the main focus. Themed, Towards an Integrated and Coherent Approach to Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation of Agenda 2063 and the SDGs, we are just again reminded how much poverty and underdevelopment has marred our continent that we have to gather experts to seriously discuss the possible way out.
The 20 items on the Agenda 2063, the 17 sustainable development goals and the tax justice campaign have the same thing in common. To eradicate poverty, improve quality of life and foster measurable and inclusive development.
You might be asking what makes this different from the Millennium Development Goals? With half abandoned projects, a continuously increasing poverty rate and no clear measurement on achievement? Because as at 2015, a report by Vanguard Newspaper states that over 100 million Nigerians live below the poverty line.
To be clear on what we should consider the poverty line, it shouldn’t just be living below 1$ a day, it should be people who have no access to basic needs. Access to food, to shelter, clothing, qualitative education and health care amongst others.
You don’t have free access to all of these? This is your fight too.
I’ll give you reasons why these goals should be different. To successfully deliver on these goals we need financing.
It is obvious Africa needs an intervention, not through foreign aids, not through grants but by looking domestically.
By looking inwards, I mean putting a stop to Illicit Financial Flows (funds flowing out of Africa through commercial, criminal and corrupt means) which costs us $50billion annually. What steps are going into this?
During a press briefing by Dr Anthony Mothae Maruping, the commissioner for economic affairs at the African Union Commission in Addis, he confirmed that modalities have been put in place, a consortium of experts who will make sure these multinational corporations do not evade tax, what does this mean? That if Africa will finance its own self-development then the $50billion lost yearly to the IFF’s needs to be stopped and got back.
Is his assurance enough? No. It is not enough that he has said what we want to hear. We continue to push, we continue to monitor our government and the policies, agreements and treaty they enter into, we continue to remind them that we are empowered by knowledge and we know exactly what we want.
And the first step to pushing would include asking our government to follow the recommendation at the conference and domesticate the 2063 Agenda which in reality would mean implementing the sustainable development goals. If they integrate this into national plans, then the issue of funding can then be discussed.
Taking a look at the 17 Sustainable development goals, they really could be referred to as a subset of the 2063 agenda. What does this imply? If the 2063 goals are being domestically implemented into national plans, and developing an integrated framework. This will avoid duplication of reporting and a more structured follow up.
Enough of “devastating ripples down the economic and financial system, of “declined commodities exports has meant cut in production, risen unemployment, fallen incomes and eroded tax bases as well as reduced foreign exchange earnings” as presented by Dr Anthony.
This is our opportunity to champion our cause. Let’s get on it.
Sadiq writes from the African Development Week being held in Addis, Ababa-Ethiopia from 31st March to 5th April.