Sixth Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development Goals oversubscribed

By ZBC Reporter
THE United Nations Economic Commission (UNECA) has commended the Zimbabwean government’s preparatory work ahead of the sixth Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development Goals (ARFSDS)which has been oversubscribed with the number of delegates now expected to reach 3000 from the initial estimate of 1500 participants.
The forum on Sustainable Development Goals which runs from the 24 to 28 February has put Zimbabwe on the spotlight and provided an opportunity for the country to showcase some of the success stories in the implementation of the SDGs.
UNECA Executive Secretary Dr Vera Songwe commended Zimbabwe for the excellent preparatory work and for harnessing science and innovation in the quest to bring about sustainable development.
“Zimbabwe has a very vibrant ICT sector which is creating a lot of jobs. We need to develop skills on the continent. I think with my colleague leading the initiative, we are expecting about 3000 people tomorrow on the ground,” said Dr Songwe.
The oversubscription to the forum has excited Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prof Paul Mavhima who called upon African countries to double efforts in ensuring the realization of targets under Agenda 2030.
“We briefly discussed the agenda of the forum and we are happy with the preparations. The event is oversubscribed and initially, we were looking at 1500 delegates and now the indications are that we might have 3000 guests,” he said.
Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira said the country will continue to prioritize science and technology towards meeting socio-economic aspirations.
“Economies are built through science and technology, through participation and when you make the youths participate you are making the future possible.”
As of 23 February, the online registration entries for the forum had surpassed the 2000 mark, making the gathering the biggest in terms of attendance in the history of the ARFSDS meetings. The fifth edition of the annual gathering which was held in Marrakech, Morocco attracted less than 1000 delegates.
While the previous ARFSD meeting focus on a selected SDGs this year’s edition will see participants reviewing progress in the implementation of all the 17 SGDs.