By:  Jjingo Francis

Addis Ababa

The Prime Minister of Uganda Robinah Nabbanja has called on African Countries to come together and advocate for reforms in the global financial architecture including  cancellation of debts imposed by the multi nationals and other partners.

The Prime Minister Nabbanja was addressing the 10th  Africa Regional  Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD 10) being held from April 22-25, 2024 in  Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Prime Minister noted that the forum was organised at a critical time fallowing the launch of the 10 year implementation plan of 2063,  of “the Africa we want” and the adoption of the national commitments for SDG acceleration and transformation adopted during the SDG Summit in September 2023 .

Speaking about the debt burden African Countries are facing, the Prime Minister said “ we must stop being followers in the global discussion but rather innovators and solution providers to many of our African challenges”.

She also said African countries should set clear priorities that favour acceleration of growth of the African Countries by maintaining unity and solidarity to avoid  exploitative commercial lending.

The Prime Minister said Commercial lending must be concessional, long term and with low interest rates and to finance long term projects in  infrastructure, manufacturing  and education.  

She reminded African leaders to remain focused on regional trade through the African Continental free Trade Area because it has the potential to spur regional and national developments.

The Executive Secretary for the UN Economic Commission for Africa Mr. Claver Gatete said African Countries can no longer do business as usual . He said UN has identified key investment pathways for SDGs delivery  including strengthened food systems, digital connectivity , education , jobs and social protection, climate change biodiversity and pollution.

The Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Ms. Amina J. Mohammed highlighted that the African continent has been hit by the global shocks due to COVID19 coupled with conflicts and instability that are causing untold suffering and hence jeopardizing African Union goals and the SDGs.

The  Africa Regional Forum for Sustainable Development is an annual event organised by UNECA in partnership with African Union, African Development and United Nations family to reflect on Africa’s progress of sustainable development. 

The event also provides an opportunity to prepare  African Countries especially those preparing Voluntary National Review Reports to review preparedness; and to develop a regional position on key issues like unemployment, climate change, global security among other  to be presented at the High Level Political Forum in July in New York.

This year, Uganda is scheduled to present her third Voluntary National Review Report to be presented in July 2024. The preparation processes are being coordinated by the SDG Secretariat, Office of the Prime Minister.