By Innocent Mujeri
President Emmerson Mnangagwa today officially opened the sixth African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) where he implored the need for stakeholders to act together and take responsibility in pursuit of an optimal development path and a shared Africa’s development vision.
The forum on sustainable development goals (SDGs) is running under the theme, “2020-2030”: A decade to deliver a transformed and prosperous Africa through the 2030 agenda and agenda 2063.
Speaking at the official opening, President Mnangagwa said, “The need to act together and take responsibility in pursuit of an optimal development path and a shared Africa’s development vision is imperative, especially now that we have entered the crucial phase of the decade of action.”
President Mnangagwa further reiterated that a combined approach is needed from all stakeholders to achieve Agenda 2030.
“As Zimbabwe, we are convinced that the interlinked threats and challenges to sustainable development confronting our continent require everyone to share experiences, responsibility and to contribute to the attainment of common vision and the implementation framework,” said the President.
His Excellency commended the forum for reviewing and discussing all 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs), a departure from the previous forums where only a few selected SDGs would be discussed.
“I am aware that this session of the Africa Regional Forum on SDGs marks a departure from previous sessions as it attempts to review all 17 goals as opposed to a selected few as was the practice in the past. The 2030 Agenda mandates the implementation of the SDGs as an indivisible whole, hence this approach will allow the generation of holistic reports which give a true picture of efforts and performances of our respective countries,” said the President.
Cde Mnangagwa also reiterated the importance of reforms as bedrocks for development.
“Sustainable development in Africa cannot be achieved without comprehensive socio-economic development. In the case of Zimbabwe, we remain committed to the full implementation of the political, economic and legislative reforms.
The official opening was attended by a record number of nearly 3000 delegates that included several senior government officials and members of the United Nations.