EALA to play central role in implementation of SDGs
Nairobi: As the clock on the timeframe for Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) ticks away, the regional Assembly is gearing up to take a more central role in the implementation of the Post 2015 Agenda through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). EALA Members have today commenced on a two day sensitization workshop on promoting SDGs with a mantra to ensure the region realizes the set objectives of reducing poverty, achieving food security and enhancing gender equality amongst other development initiatives.
Addressing the legislators, EALA Speaker, Rt. Hon Daniel F. Kidega maintained that Parliaments had a fundamental role to play in ensuring implementation of the SDGs. “We must take a more prominent role in ensuring full realization of the SDGs. I can guarantee you that the fate of the SDGs will be equally sealed if Parliaments do not enact their own action plans and take up the mantle on some of the relevant areas to their mandate”, Rt. Hon Kidega said.
The theme of the workshop is the “Role of EALA in implementing the SDGs: Promoting peaceful and Inclusive Societies for Sustainable development”.
The two day meeting brings together Members of EALA and resource persons from institutions working round the clock to ensure Africa’s concerns are taken on board fully when SDGs are rolled out. The Institutions are Society for International Development, Africa Platform and the Institute for Economic Affairs. Its objectives include updating the Assembly on the status and details of MDGs and the post 2015 plus 2063 and the Vision of the EAC. The meeting also analyses performance at the EAC level, hindrances and challenges learnt from MDGs while focusing on EALA mandate in promoting good governance, Transparency and Accountability. The sensitization workshop is also to explore strategies to ensuring the Global Development Framework (Post 2015 Agenda) is implemented and realized.
The Speaker said that EALA would hold Partner States accountable and enhance its oversight role in the dispensation. For example, on legislation, can we check if each of our Partner States have enacted laws in the areas on SDGs. If the laws are in place, are they being implemented? Has the public been sensitized about these laws? How much have we budgeted for the effective implementation of laws?
He noted that it was important for the East African Community to allocate and appropriate more resources in the area of SDGs. He remarked that EALA was keen to enact a regional piece of legislation relevant to the realization of the SDGs.
The Head of the Africa Platform Secretariat, Paul Okumu remarked that it was time for African countries to fully implement laws and policies around development. He said a number of SDGs were in one way or another already encapsulated in policy frameworks. “We need to understand that developing countries want to ensure an open democratic space where we can all make decisions and have a vote. This is why the arena such as SDGs that bring together all countries is vital,” He said.
He remarked that the continent may face challenges as the goals may be complex to realise. “Some of the areas have not been completed such as that dealing with Climate change”, he added.
Associate Director of Society for International Development, Ali Hersi said it was necessary to have concrete binding commitments from Partners. He said the role of EALA was key in ensuring concrete steps are realised as the region moves to the comprehensive development goals. He noted that it was important for the Continent to take its place and mark its space in the Development Agenda dispensation.
Analysts contend that as the world transitions from a focus on MDGs to the more comprehensive SDGs, the need for effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels to achieve the goals will increasingly take centre stage. The United Nations is expected to hold a global Summit in New York on September 25th-27th , 2015 to adopt the Post 2015 Development Agenda.
Lack of accountability has been identified as a major weakness in MDGs implementation. From the Paris Accord to Accra Declaration to the recent Busan statements, the international Community has continued to express hope that countries’ institutions be sufficiently capacitated to ensure internal supervision of national Government’s international engagements.