Africa urged to rise above negative circumstances: Dr Songwe

By ZBC Reporter
THE African continent has been urged to rise above the current negative socio-economic headwinds threatening growth and make use of collective wisdom to deliver a prosperous Africa. Speaking at the official opening ceremony of the 6th Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Executive Secretary, Dr Vera Songwe reminded the continent that it has what it takes to rise above the current hurdles and deliver the aspirations under Agenda 2063.
The forum being hosted by Zimbabwe is being held at a time the regional economies are facing an economic slowdown due to threats posed by drought-induced climate change. While the African Development Bank AfDB projects 3.9% economic growth for 2020, its projection remains below the historical highs.
“The eagle is certainly soaring in Africa and as the youths said in their presentations the future is now. We, however, do have headwinds and the content is not growing fast,” she said.
According to the UNECA official, the impacts of climate change are beginning to be felt and threatening the realisation of sustainable development. Zimbabwe’s Climate Change Ambassador Nkosilathi Nyathi called for accelerated action in the implementation of climate change mitigation efforts as well as the involvement of youths in policy formulation.
“What must urgently turn the climate change mitigation plans into action. As youth we believe that we are the activists and the solutions in the fight against devastating effects of climate change,” said Nkosilathi Nyathi.
The ongoing ceremony has seen delegates committing themselves to take enhanced actions as Africa enters into a decisive decade in the implementation of the SDGs. The 2020 Africa Regional Forum on SDGs is being held under the theme, “2020-2030: A Decade to Deliver a Transformed and Prosperous Africa through the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.”
The ongoing forum will also prepare African countries to effectively participate in the 2020 high-level political forum on sustainable development to be held in New York from 7 to 17 July 2020.