The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGC/A) Sub-Regional Center for Africa has been launched in Zambia. The launch was conducted Wednesday August 7, 2019 by President Edgar Lungu of Zambia and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.
This follows an agreement was signed in September 2018 between the host country and the SDG Centre for Africa to host a regional Centre. The office will advocate for the implementation of SDGs in the Southern African region, in line with the principles of African Union (AU)’s Agenda 2063.
President Paul Kagame, who is also the Chair of the Board of the SDGs Center for Africa said the center will enhance the attainment of SDGs by the continent through the provision of technical advice which will be customized for the countries in the region.
President Edgar Lungu said the new center will help the sub region to come up with home grown solutions to address the challenges that they are facing in meeting the SDGs target by the countries in the continent. He further called on the Centre to focus on agriculture, health and education.
The SDG Sub-Regional Centre will provide technical support, neutral advice and expertise to national governments, private sector, civil society and academic institutions in order to accelerate the implementation of the SDG agenda.
Secretary General Chileshe Mpundu Kapwepwe was among the dignitaries that attended the launch in Lusaka. During the panel discussion, Ms Kapwepwe said emphasis should be placed on empowering the private sector through Small and Medium Enterprises programs/workshops such as effective incubator programs, technological training and research and development centers to increase productivity.
“We need to enhance investment in the quality of products in the Small and Medium Enterprises, to meet market standards and food safety requirements including quality packaging for their competitiveness as this is the only way we will remain viable on the market,” she said.
The launch was attended by over 200 government officials, representatives of international organizations, development financing institutions, statistics institutions and experts from southern Africa and beyond.
Among those that addressed the gathering was the Namibian Vice President Nangolo Mbumba and the Centre Director General Dr. Belay Begashaw