SAA's Lead RA Specialist Participates in the 10th Session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD)

Opening ceremony of the Tenth Session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD)
Opening ceremony of the Tenth Session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD)

From April 23 to 25, 2024, Dr. Stella Kabiri, SAA’s Lead Specialist for Regenerative Agriculture, participated in the Tenth Session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, held in Addis Ababa. This pivotal forum convened stakeholders from across the continent to assess progress and challenges in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

During the discussions, it was observed that there is a worrying trend in the progression of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While some SDGs are advancing, others are regressing. Key areas such as affordable and clean energy (SDG 7), decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), and climate action (SDG 13) are not only lagging but also regressing (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Progress made on each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals

This situation presents a significant opportunity for SAA to align its strategic initiatives more closely with these critical areas, reinforcing the urgency and relevance of its work.

SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
The need for sustainable energy solutions is critical, especially in rural areas. SAA’s exploration of alternatives to traditional cooking fuels supports sustainable energy practices within these communities.

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
Addressing the lack of decent work and economic growth remains a priority. SAA’s programs are designed to empower youth through modern agricultural practices and agribusiness, contributing to economic empowerment and growth.

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Urban areas face unique sustainability challenges. SAA’s initiatives in urban farming and nutrient-sensitive agriculture aim to transform urban landscapes into productive, sustainable environments.

SDG 13: Climate Action
The regression in climate action underscores the need for robust climate resilience and adaptation strategies. SAA’s commitment to decarbonization through regenerative agriculture and climate-smart agriculture directly addresses these challenges.

Furthermore, the forum spotlighted the glaring issue of land degradation—a predominant challenge across Africa (Figure 2). This reinforces the importance of SAA’s focus on regenerative agriculture aimed at improving soil health, which is fundamental to sustainable agricultural practices.

Figure 2: SDG indicators that need to be reversed (red bars) and accelerated (yellow bars) to achieve the target

These discussions at the ARFSD provide a solid foundation for SAA to justify and tailor its strategic initiatives and serve as compelling problem statements for future proposals. They highlight SAA's commitment to addressing some of the most pressing environmental and socio-economic challenges facing Africa today.

For more details on the SDG progress in Africa and the challenges outlined at the forum, you can access the full report here.

SAA remains dedicated to leveraging its expertise and resources to make a meaningful impact on sustainable development across the continent.

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