By Hon Davies Mwila
The Vision 2030 goal is to make Zambia a “prosperous middle-income country by 2030”. As a stairway to attain the Vision 2030, the PF Government’s developmental agenda is guided by the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), whose goal is to “accelerate development efforts towards the Vision 2030, without leaving anyone behind”.
For the PF Government to successfully bring about inclusive development “without leaving anyone behind” and achieve more with less resources; the 7NDP has to be implemented in an integrated and coordinated manner, in line with regional and global developmental agendas. In this regard, the 7NDP (page 6) states that:
“(The 7NDP towards Vision 2030) will be achieved taking into account regional and global development agendas, such as the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP), which is a comprehensive development and implementation framework guiding the regional integration agenda of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) over a period of fifteen years (2005-2020), African Union Agenda 2063, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) protocols.”
This article focusses on achieving the 7NDP goal towards Vision 2030, in line with the SDGs. There are 17 SDGs which represent an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership. The 17 SDGs include: no poverty, zero hunger, good health and wellbeing, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, among others.
Indeed, it is of paramount importance to implement the 7NDP, in line with regional and global developmental agendas (in this particular case, the SDG), because failure to do so means that:
1. The 7NDP will fail to create an environment for the domestication of SDGs and other regional and global development agendas mentioned above. The negative outcome will be that, instead of the 7NDP being a springboard to the promotion of partnerships in a transformative way, it will fail to leverage partnerships needed to achieve 7NDP and SDG goals in Zambia.
2. Since the 7NDP forms the link between the Vision 2030 and the SDGs; weak integration and coordination of the implementation of the 7NDP vis-à-vis the SDGs, may jeopardize the attainment of the 7NDP’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which in turn, affects the achievement of SDGs and Vision 2030.
In order to avoid the above from happening; given the strategic importance of domesticating SDGs through an integrated multi-sectoral engagement with interlinking goals, as well as recognizing the fact that SDGs are universal; the PF Government under His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu embarked on a strategic mission to engage regional, continental and global development partners to elect Zambia as the permanent host of the SDG sub-regional centre for Southern Africa.
Zambia being chosen as the host of the SDG sub-regional centre for Southern Africa was not subjected to a raffle-draw, but was a painstaking process undertaken by various countries and development institutions to ascertain if Zambia met the requirements to host the SDG sub-regional centre, such as: sustainable economic agenda, human development, safety and rule of law, political stability, human rights among others – the conditions which Zambia met successfully.
As stated above, the SDG sub-regional centre for Southern Africa in Zambia, will enhance more effective integration and coordination of the simultaneous implementation and achievement of the 7NDP, Vision 2030 and SDG goals.
Speaking during the launch of the “Sustainable Development Goals Sub-Regional Centre for Southern Africa” in Zambia on 7th August, 2019, and to quote rather extensively from this speech, His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu said:
“The city of Lusaka is synonymous with the struggle for freedom and self-determination in the region. it was a struggle that was successfully waged from here by the liberation movements. today, we meet to rekindle that hope among our people through yet another wave of self-determination from the sustainable development front.
The centre launched today renews our hope that, yet again, we can win the war against poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, and the negative effects of climate change, and other challenges most African countries could not attain the millennium development goals mainly on account of various challenges such inadequate financial resources.
In our pursuit to achieve sustainable development goals, this trend unfortunately is likely to continue, unless Africa devises more innovative ways of addressing its development challenges. Time has come for Africa to adopt home-grown solutions to its own challenges.
Therefore, the establishment of the sustainable development goals centre for Africa in Kigali was a launch pad for such initiatives…. given that most countries on the continent did not meet the millennium development goals due to lack of concerted efforts, the Africa centre provides an avenue for accelerating the attainment of sustainable development goals.
In this regard, the centre in Lusaka brings the initiative closer to home for those of us in the southern African region. it will be a vehicle for facilitating engagement between governments, and other stakeholders, to accelerate the attainment of sustainable development goals.
…. I am glad to note that the centre will help member states to contextualize the sustainable development goals in line with their national development priorities such as agriculture, health, education among others. the region should be able to gain from the centre’s activities in these focus areas. For instance, in agriculture, we expect our small-scale farmers to be given the necessary attention so that they grow into more productive actors of our economies.
Likewise, the centre’s intervention in the health sector should be to promote healthy lives for our citizens to engage in productive activities.
…. As a region, we expect that this centre will work closely with our national development banks, and other financial institutions in resource mobilization and disbursement. this will in turn support national development priorities to achieve sustainable development goals. this your excellencies, will require urgent restructuring and recapitalization of national development banks effective financing towards achievement of sustainable development goals. to this effect, for Zambia, I am glad to report that the development bank of Zambia has already signed a collaborative agreement with the sustainable development goals centre for Africa.
….. At national level, the Zambian people are desirous to live in a middle-income industrialized nation by the year 2030 in which various opportunities will be readily available for them to improve their well-being. these aspirations are espoused in our vision 2030 which is being implemented through the seventh national development plan running from 2017 to 2021. I am therefore, delighted to note that our national development plan has mainstreamed the sustainable development goals as per the united nations expectations.”
As stated by the 7NDP (page 6):
“(The 7NDP goals towards Vision 2030) will be achieved taking into account regional and global development agendas, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” Therefore, as emphasized by President Lungu in the speech we have cited above:
“(Implementing the 7NDP in line with SDGs and Vision 2030) will not only propel our ability to attain the Sustainable Development Goals, but it will also enhance our capacities to develop and implement home-grown interventions. We are convinced that most of the solutions to attaining the sustainable development goals in Africa, reside within Africa.
The successful attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals will reinforce the realization of our aspirations espoused in the African Union Agenda 2063.
Our collective resolve as a people therefore, re-assures us that the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, and the African Union Agenda 2063 are indeed attainable….
The realization of the sustainable development goals cannot be left to Governments alone. it is a shared responsibility, which calls for participation by all stakeholders, including individual citizens.
I have said before elsewhere that development cannot be left to Government alone, the private sector or the civil society, but it is a challenge for all of us.”
Therefore, by ensuring the establishment of the SDG sub-regional centre in Zambia, the PF Government under President Lungu will not only ensure successful implementation and achievement of SDG goals, but also ensure successful implementation and achievement of national strategic goals in agriculture, health, education among others.
This is the developmental agenda which the PF Government under President Lungu is certain to win.
However, as President Lungu has implored Zambians in the above speech, “development cannot be left to Government alone, the private sector or the civil society, but it is a challenge for all of us.”