Stronger partnerships crucial for successful implementation of SDGs in light of COVID-19

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The Bureau of the Sixth Session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) has met and adopted an action plan establishing key priorities for implementing key messages from the forum that was held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, in February.
Chaired by Zimbabwe’s Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister, Mr. Paul Mavima, this was the Bureau’s first meeting since the adoption of the Victoria Falls Declaration on the Decade of Action for Sustainable Development in Africa.
The Decade of Action calls for accelerating sustainable solutions to all the world’s biggest challenges, ranging from poverty and gender to climate change, inequality and closing the finance gap.
With the coronavirus pandemic raging on the continent, members of the bureau recognized the unprecedented and serious challenges being caused by COVID-19 and noted with grave concern the growing loss of human lives and huge negative economic and social impacts of the crisis on the continent.
Africa, they agreed, was likely to be disproportionately affected by the pandemic given the region’s underlying vulnerabilities.
The Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA) recent analysis on the impact of the pandemic estimates that economic growth on the continent is expected to drop from 3.2 percent to 1.8 percent. As of March 2020, a decline of 1.4 percentage points is expected from the effects of COVID-19. Africa’s Finance Ministers have called for an initial support package of US$ 100 billion in 2020 to cushion their nations from impacts of the pandemic.