East, Southern Africa vow frontline role in setting the post-2015 development agenda

ECA Press Release 163/2012

Mombassa, Kenya 3 October 2012 (ECA) – A workshop by official development planners and private sector representatives from East and Southern Africa has urged regional governments to team up with the rest of Africa and take a frontline role in setting the post-2015 global development agenda.

In a clear sign that the region intends to have its say in whatever goes into the post-2015 global development process, participants called on countries in the sub region to decide on specific timeline on all that needs to be done up until 2015 and beyond, so that no nation is left behind in the process.

They were meeting in Mombassa, Kenya in the first of two sub-regional consultations on the post-2015 Development Agenda, supported by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Union, UNDP and other partners.

In an outcome statement adopted at the end of the consultation, participants underscored the need for Africa to strive for convergence by aligning priorities in the post 2015-development agenda to existing development frameworks.

This would ensure that countries remain focused, rather than being confused during the implementation of often competing development initiatives by different partners, the statement says.

It stresses that any meaningful post-2015 development agenda would have to build on key frameworks such as the Rio+20 Sustainable Development Agenda, the priorities of the African Union and its NEPAD programme as well as on the outcomes of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and its Programme of Action.

The statement also urges all those involved in the current post 2015-development processes to thoroughly review all development-related declarations in Africa such as the Lagos Plan of Action, the Abuja Declaration and the Tunis Declaration.

Participants agreed on a series of next steps that are essential in ensuring that Africans have their say in what the development priorities of the continent should be beyond 2015.

These include a conscientious alignment of national consultative processes with whatever happens at the regional and global levels, in collaboration with other stakeholders such as development partners, the civil society and the private sector. They agreed that Member States and development partners would need to mobilize and harness domestic resources for consultations and implementation.

Capacity development, innovation and technological access would come through the promotion of science and vocational training right from the primary level, according to the outcome statement.

It states that sustainable structural transformation and inclusive growth requires constant efforts towards rural development, based on the comparative advantage each region offers.

In the area of human development, the statement calls for more efforts to ensure gender parity, greater access to social protection for vulnerable groups, health for all, with special focus on women and children as well as the need to strengthen capacity for adequate disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation initiatives.

It also calls on stakeholders to contribute human, financial and material resources to ensure ownership and urges Parliament at national, regional and continental level to be actively involved in post-2015 development agenda dialogue.

The statement identifies a number of roles and responsibilities for each stakeholder constituency, calling on each category to be involved in all stages, from conceptualization to implementation, monitoring and evaluation of priority development initiatives. In this regard, it says consultations on development issues must be as inclusive as possible, engaging a wide range of stakeholders in order to ensure that they take full ownership of the new agenda.

It identifies a number of enablers as priorities for the post-2015 development agenda, saying peace and security, good governance, strengthened institutional capacity and the respect for human rights and says they are just as important for development as financial resources, for example.

It stresses the need for members to undertake serious advocacy initiatives for the post-2015 development agenda at national and local levels to ensure a rapid validation of the outcomes at these levels.  This would necessitate the setting up of regular stakeholder round table meetings including community-based dialogue to monitor and evaluate progress, keep the focus and take corrective action if needed.

The Mombassa consultation will be followed by another workshop for countries of Central, West and North Africa, before a region-wide forum is convened to consolidate all the outcomes into a draft African Common Position for the post 2015-development agenda.

Once African Heads of State and Government adopt the draft, it will feed into the global development agenda beyond 2015; that is, the next global development agenda as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) phase out.

African countries often criticized the goals as having been externally conceived and sold to the Continent.
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© 2012 Economic Commission for Africa