Highlights and images for 24 February 2020



L-R: Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, with Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson, African Union Commission (AUC)


The sixth session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD 2020) opened on Monday, 24 February at the Elephant Hills Resort, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Pre-event workshops, stakeholder consultations and special sessions took place throughout the day exploring the Forum theme, “2020-2030: A Decade to Deliver a Transformed and Prosperous Africa through the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.”

Highlights included: the 2020 Africa Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Forum; an exchange on country experiences with Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) of the global and regional agendas; and ARFSD 2020 preparatory meetings and capacity development workshops for major groups and other stakeholders.

Sharing their experiences with the VNRs, country representatives and technical experts highlighted, among other issues: the need for addressing weak capacity in accessing and using quality and relevant data; better aligning national development efforts with lessons learned from regional workshops; strengthening local action, and transforming it into budget and policy frameworks; and stronger alignment with local, regional and national levels, including through collaboration with city authorities.

The second African Regional STI Forum convened under the theme, “2020-2030: A decade to deliver a transformed and prosperous Africa through the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.” Following a series of high-level dialogues in the morning, parallel discussions took place in the afternoon exploring the five SDG sub-themes of: people, prosperity, planet, peace, and partnerships.

A number of special sessions also took place, in the presence of UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed. They included:

  • A UN Development System (UNDS) mini-retreat that provided African perspectives on the ongoing UN reform process;
  • The second session of the Regional Coordination Mechanism (RCM) for Africa, which brought together principals from UN and African Union to explore strategies for enhanced collaboration in the framework of the African Union’s 2020 theme of “Silencing the Guns”;
  • Engagement with youth on the theme, “UN@75 - The Future is Now: African Youth Engagement for the Decade of Action”; and
  • An African Union-UN dialogue on “Leveraging the Decade for Action to Realize the SDGs and Agenda 2063.”

Diverse side events, exhibitions and networking events took place throughout the day and in the evening to showcase innovative solutions and partnerships to accelerate SDG action in Africa.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, provided daily web coverage and daily reports from ARFSD 2020. In addition, IISD Reporting Services has published a summary report from the session in HTML and PDF.

Photos by IISD/ENB | Francis Dejon

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L-R: Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Secretary-General and Director Bureau for Americas, UN Development Programme (UNDP); Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the UN; and Vera Songwe, Under Secretary-General, and Executive Secretary, Economic Commision for Africa (ECA)
Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson, African Union Commission (AUC)
Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the UN
Hanna Serwaa Tetteh, Under Secretary-General, and Special Representative to the African Union (AU)
Vera Songwe, Under Secretary-General, and Executive Secretary, ECA
Delegates attending the Regional Coordinating Mechanism for Africa pose for a family photo at ARFSD 2020
L-R: Tonya Vaturi, UN Division of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA); Amira El Fadil, Commisioner for Social Affairs, AUC; Oliver Chiganya, ECA; Alessandra Casazza, UNDP; and Juliet Wasswa Mugambwa, OSAA
Amira El Fadil, Commisioner for Social Affairs, AUC
Delegates following the workshop on VNRs
Tapiwa Roy Rupende, Zimbabwe
Lee Chileshe, Zambia
Sawsan Hassan El Showaya, Sudan
Sheila Saldana, Seychelles
Amon Murwira, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, Zimbabwe
Imraan Patel, Deputy Director-General, Social Economic Partnerships, Department of Science and Innovation, South Africa
Mahama Ouedraogo, AUC
Henry Ngale Foretia, Poultry Farmers Management Sytems Platform, Cameroon
Karima Bounemra Ben Soltane, ECA
Family photo of STI participants at ARFSD 2020



Negotiating blocs
African Union
Non-state coalitions