Home > ARFSD 2018

4th session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development

Transformation Towards Sustainable and Resilient Societies

2-4 May 2018 | Dakar, Senegal

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L-R: Giovani Biha, Deputy Executive Secretary, UNECA, congratulates, Cheikh Dieng, Chief of Staff, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Senegal, on behalf of the President of the Forum.


Highlights for Friday, 4 May 2018

The fourth Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development met for a final day in Dakar, Senegal, on Friday, 4 May 2018. Delegates met in plenary and engaged in a round table discussion on peer learning, where representatives from Togo, Cape Verde and Egypt as well as GIZ and Major Groups and Stakeholders shared solutions, good practices and lessons learned in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063.

Delegates heard reports from the parallel sessions discussing Africa’s messages to the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6); Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7); Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11); Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12); Life on Land (SDG 15); and Strengthening Means of Implementation and the Partnership for Sustainable Development (SDG 17).

The ARFSD accepted Morocco’s proposal to host the fifth session of the Forum in 2019, agreeing that the session will convene under the theme “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.” They agreed that, as mandated by the HLPF, the fifth session of the ARFSD will address:

  • SDG 4 on Quality Education;
  • SDG 8 on Decent Work and Economic Growth;
  • SDG 10 on Reduced Inequalities;
  • SDG 13 on Climate Action; and
  • SDG 16 on Peace Justice and Strong Institutions

Delegates also discussed the hosting of the 6th session of the ARFSD, agreeing that the Southern Africa region will host the meeting in 2020. They then adopted the meeting report, including over 50 key messages to the HLPF pertaining to SDGs 6, 7, 11, 12, 15, and 17. In closing remarks, Giovani Biha, Deputy Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Africa, reiterated the Commission's commitment to transmit Africa's key messages to the 2018 session of the HLPF in July in New York. The meeting closed at 9:26pm.

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Participants at the plenary


L-R: Carla Cruz, Cabo Verde; Jörn Geisselman, GIZ; Nassim Oulmane, UNECA; Moderator Alloune Badiane, The Urban Think Tank Africa (TUTTA); and Mohamed Hanafi, Egypt


Moderator Alioune Badiane, The Urban Think Tank Africa (TUTTA)

Anne Alan Sizomu, representative from Major Groups


Mohamed Hanafi, Egypt

Jörn Geisselman, GIZ


Carla Cruz, Cabo Verde

Gervais Meatchi Tchaou, Chair of the third ARFSD, Togo



L-R: Tshwanelo Seeletsa; Mwampei Choba; Willem Fourie; and Christo Janse Van Noordwyk, South Africa


Rajae Chafil, Morocco

Chaikou Diallo, Guinea



L-R: Mwampei Choba, South Africa; Samba Harouna Thiam, UN Environment Programme (UNEP); Mageda Esolyo, Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health (TICAH) and Moderator Amadou Lamine Diagne, Senegal


Nassim Oulmane, UNECA

Moderator Amadou Lamine Diagne, Senegal


Mwampei Choba, South Africa

Mageda Esolyo, Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health (TICAH)



L-R: Bouna Manell Fall, Senegal; Diatou Thiaw, Senegal; and Tadong Leonel, Cameroon


Henri Mathieu Lo, Senegal

Tadong Leonel, Cameroon


Cheikh Mbow, START

Nassirou Ba, UNECA


L-R: Fatima Denton and Nassim Oulmane, UNECA


L-R: Christo Janse Van Noordwyk, South Africa, with Charles Akol, UNECA


Giovani Biha, Deputy Executive Secretary, UNECA

Cheikh Dieng, Chief of Staff, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Senegal



After closing remarks from Giovani Biha, Deputy Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Africa, the meeting closed at 9:26pm.


Highlights for Thursday, 3 May 2018

On Thursday, 3 May 2018, Senegalese Prime Minister Mahammed Dionne officially opened the fourth Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD), Dakar, Senegal. In his keynote address, he acknowledged that the choice of Senegal as host of the Forum is “a source of pride” and stressed that his country is committed to step up its implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.

During the opening session, Priya Gajraj, UN Resident Coordinator, Senegal, underscored the importance of regional collaboration in achieving the 2030 Agenda. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative and Head of the UN Office for West Africa, emphasized that voluntary national reports (VNRs) are crucial “to increase the momentum at the pace and scale commensurate for the attainment of the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.”

Delegates heard from a high-level panel on transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies. They then approved the nominees to the 2018-2019 Bureau, electing Mame Thierno Dieng, Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development, Senegal, as ARFSD Chair. They attended a session on progress made at regional and sub-regional levels in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063, led by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

The ARFSD then broke into parallel sessions to discuss the following SDGs:

  • Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6);
  • Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7);
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11);
  • Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12);
  • Life on Land (SDG 15); and
  • Strengthening Means of Implementation and the Partnership for Sustainable Development (SDG 17)

Key messages from the parallel sessions on progress made, challenges faced, and recommendations for implementing these SDGs are expected to inform Africa’s position at the High-level Political Forum and will be presented to plenary on Friday, 4 May 2018.

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Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dionne, Prime Minister of Senegal


Moderator Fatima Denton, Director, Special Initiatives Division, UNECA

Gervais Meatchi Tchaou, Chair of the third ARFSD, Togo


Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative and Head of UNOWAS

Priya Gajraj, UN Resident Coordinator in Senegal



L-R: Moderator Adam Abdelmoula, Director, Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanisms Division
, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); Baryomunsi Chris, Minister of State for Land, Housing, and Urban Development, Uganda; Mame Thierno Dieng, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Senegal; Habofanoe Lehana, Minister of Local Government and Chieftainship Affairs, Lesotho; and Said Kambi, Africa Corporate Governance Network


Mame Thierno Dieng, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Senegal, and ARFSD Chair

Baryomunsi Chris, Minister of State for Land, Housing, and Urban Development, Uganda


Habofanoe Lehana, Minister of Local Government and Chieftainship Affairs, Lesotho

Said Kambi, Africa Corporate Governance Network


Participants during the plenary session


L-R: Thokozile Ruzvidzo, UNECA; Nassim Oulmane, UNECA; Cheikh Dieng, Chief of Staff, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Senegal; and Bartholomew Armah, UNECA


Highlights for Wednesday, 2 May 2018

The pre-events for the 2018 session of the African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) were held throughout the day on Wednesday, 2 May 2018, at the King Fahd Palace in Dakar, Senegal. Participants gathered in four workshops on:

  • Strengthening integrated and Voluntary National Review (VNR) and reporting of the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063;
  • Preparatory and capacity-development for Major Groups and other Stakeholders (MGoS) in the Africa region;
  • What does leaving no one behind in Africa actually look like; and
  • The UN Economic Commission for Africa’s (UNECA) approach in supporting the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and the New Urban Agenda in Africa.

The workshop on Strengthening Integrated and VNR and Reporting of the 2030 and 2063 Agendas discussed key issues emerging from the VNR process; the extent of convergence and divergence between the implementation of the SDGs and the African Union’s Agenda 2063; innovative ways to present VNR reports; and the importance of support from UN partners to facilitate the VNR process.

The workshop on “What Does Leaving No One Behind in Africa Actually Look Like” aimed to define what “leaving no one behind” means and what measures need to be taken to ensure the participation of vulnerable groups in achieving the 2030 and 2063 Agendas. Key recommendations included the need to focus less on aggregated data and instead have targeted, national and local data to help understand the needs and gaps of vulnerable groups.

In the session dedicated to MGoS, participants discussed the strengthening and formalization of the engagement of MGoS in the work of the ARFSD and the High-level Political Forum, engaged in a roundtable discussion on peer learning in the implementation of the 2030 and 2063 Agendas, and formulated key inputs into this year’s ARFSD.

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Participants from the multi-stakeholder forum on science, technology and innovation


L-R: Nassim Oulmane, UNECA, in conversation with Ayoup Elrashdi, African Union Commission (AUC)


L-R: Karima Bounemra Ben Soltane, Director, African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP), UNECA; Bassirou Samba Niasse, Secretary-General, Ministry for Economy and Finance, Senegal; and Moderator Minh-Thu Pham, Executive Director, Global Policy, UN Foundation (UNF)


Karima Bounemra Ben Soltane, IDEP, UNECA

Minh-Thu Pham, Executive Director, Global Policy, UNF


Angela Kageni, Development Initiatives

Grace Onubedo, Centre for the Studies of the Economies of Africa, Nigeria


L-R: Bartholomew Armah, UNECA; Moderator Adam Elhiraika, Chief, Macroeconomic Policy Division, UNECA; and Riina Jussila, UN Division for Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)


Bartholomew Armah, UNECA

Riina Jussila, UNDESA


Nozipho Wright, International Network on Gender and Energy, Botswana

Moderator Lucy Mulenkei, Indigenous Information Network, Kenya


L-R: Ben Idrissa Ouedraogo, Economic Affairs Officer, Office of the Special Adviser on Africa; Moderator Gervais Meatchi Tchaou, Togo; and Fatima Denton, Director, Special Initiatives Division, UNECA


L-R: Samba Harouna Thiam and Mamadou Kane, UN Environment Programme


Alexander Shestakov, Convention on Biological Diversity

Willem Fourie, South African SDG Hub, Pretoria University




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Funding for coverage of the 4th Session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development
has been provided by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
UNECA