Sustainable Development Goals
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which essentially formed the first half of our own vision 2030 have now been replaced by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which will again take us through the next 15years. The SDGs are seen as being more realistic and objectively arrived at and they appear to provide solutions that will have to come from the people themselves which on its side seemed to remove the burden of depending on donor countries for development take off. The UN itself describes Sustainable Development Goals as a set of goals that tries to meet the needs of the present without necessarily compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs.
The SDGs were formulated internationally with inputs from every single government and therefore it is applicable to any local setting.
Africa as a continent is pretty much in almost the same problems but in different magnitudes and as much as the problems of corruption, ethnicity, poverty, injustices and many other vices keeps pulling our development agenda backward there is still hope. There has been and there are still lots of ongoing discussions on the SDGs and that is not to end soon as we are just beginning the Era of SDGS. The critics of SDGs have aired their concerns when it comes to the practicality of SDGs and their argument is that the SDGs are simply too many to be to be properly assimilated and intergraded within a particular state’s development or even political structures. The SDGs were arrived at after a number of discussions and consultations through conferences and seminars whose sole purpose was to address the loopholes in MDGs and try to fill it so as to come up with a more comprehensive set of goals.
The goals are 17 in number and mostly interrelated however each has a different set of targets to achieve. They cover broad economic issues which include; poverty, health, hunger, climate change, gender equality, sanitation, water, energy, environment, education, environment and social justice. The SDGs are also referred to as “Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. The one major difference between SDGs and MDGs is that the SDG framework does not have a distinction between the developed and the developing nations as the goals apply to all Countries. The 17 goals are;
- No Poverty.
Poverty has been by far the biggest challenge and moving in to the new millennium countries had made good strides in reducing the poverty levels. Poverty does not just entail the lack of income but people live in poverty if they don’t have basic services like healthcare or even education.
“End Poverty in all its forms everywhere.”
- Zero Hunger.
The aim is to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition as well as the promotion of sustainable agriculture.
- Good Health and Well Being.
The aim is to have a society that is healthy and has an increased life expectancy. The number one aim is reduction of maternal mortality rates. The goal seeks to ensure universal health coverage which will include the access to essential medicines and vaccines.
- Quality Education.
The goal is to ensure an all inclusive, equitable and quality education which provides long term opportunities for all. The literacy level still sits at a low for several countries in the world and provision of free primary and secondary education will drastically reduce the gap by 2030.
- Gender Equality.
The aim is to provide gender balance and work towards empowering all women and girls
- Clean Water and Sanitation.
The goal aims to ensure water is available to all and good and up to standard sanitation system is put in place.
- Affordable and Clean Energy.
Energy should be affordable, accessible, reliable, and sustainable and modernized for all.
- Decent Work and Economic Growth.
For a good sustainable and inclusive economic growth then there has to be a productive employment and a decent work for all.
- Industry, innovation and infrastructure.
Build a resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive, and a sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
- Reduced Inequalities.
Reduce income inequalities within and among countries.
The other Goals include;
- Sustainable cities and communities.
- Responsible consumption and production.
- Climate change.
- Life below water.
- Life on hand.
- Peace, justice and strong institutions.
- Partnership for the goals.
The youths participation in the attainment of SDGs cannot be emphasized any further and for its realization and success there is need for participation of the young people and above anything else the youths need to own. We as the youth play an important role in churning a new path and direction for this country and our biggest role is not just to sit and do nothing but we need to stand up and demand answers to everything happening around us. Lets raise our voices when it comes to issues of corruption or poor governance it is only through this that we can put our leaders to task and ensure that they are accountable.
Let me end this with the words of Kofi Annan “No one is born a good citizen; no nation is born a democracy. Rather, both are processes that continue to evolve over a lifetime. Young people must be included from birth. A society that cuts off from its youth severs its lifeline.”