Zambian President H.E Edgar Lungu and his Rwandan counterpart H. E Paul Kagame this morning launched the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa (SDGC/A) Sub-Regional Center for Southern Africa in Lusaka, Zambia.
The launch brought together over 200 government officials, international organizations, development financing institutions and experts to discuss issues concerning implementation of SDGs in Southern Africa.
Others present were local and foreign ministers charged with the coordination of SDGs implementation predominately ministers responsible for national development within the region.
The launch of the Centre follows the signing of a country agreement in September 2018 between the Zambia and the SDG Center for Africa.
The SDG Sub-regional Center is an international not-for-profit institution, which will provide technical support, and expertise to government, private sector, civil society and academia in order to fast-track the implementation of the SDG agenda.
Speaking during the launch, President Lungu said his government has through the 7th National Development Plan mainstreamed the SDGs according to the UN requirements.
Kagame who was presiding over the launch of the SDG Centre’s Sub-Regional Centre for Southern Africa in his capacity as the Chair of the Board of the SDGs Centre for Africa said that time is of essence for countries to realise the sustainable development goals.
Speaking during the opening Zambia’s Minister of National Planning Hon. Alexander Chiteme said the hosting the SDGs Sub-Regional Center for Southern Africa is a huge step towards increased collaboration among African countries.
During a panel discussion this afternoon UNDP Zambia Economic Advisor Ms. Colleen Zamba explained UNDP’s role in the implementation of the SDGs in Zambia which includes mainstreaming, development of strategic partnerships, monitoring and reporting, and capacity development which is a contribution to SDG achievement in Zambia.
In his opening remarks Director General for the SDG Centre for Africa, Dr. Belay E. Begashaw thanked the COMESA Seceretary General Ms. Chileshe Mpundu Kapwepwe for providing space to host the SDGs Sub-Regional Center for Southern Africa at the COMESA building.