Highlights and images for 27 February 2020



Paul Mavima, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Zimbabwe, with ECA staff and Zimbabwe delegates at the close of ARFSD 2020

On the final day of the sixth Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD 2020), delegates distilled key messages from discussions over the week, culminating with the adoption of the Victoria Falls Declaration on the UN Decade of Action and Delivery for Sustainable Development in Africa, as well as an outcome document containing a summary of the deliberations, and key messages emanating from the Regional Forum.

The ARFSD 2020 outcomes will be submitted to the UN High-Level Political Forum in July 2020, as part of the session on reports of regional forums for sustainable development.

Among other messages, the Victoria Falls Declaration calls on African Member States to:

  • Urgently revisit frameworks for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063, align their national development plans with the principles of the two agendas. It also calls on African stakeholders to set in motion programmes and projects to deliver on the 10 commitments for action outlined in the political declaration of the SDGs Summit, which convened under the auspices of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, US, from 24-25 September 2019.
  • Develop and implement people-centered and inclusive national strategies to support the UN Decade of Action and Delivery for Sustainable Development, strengthen mechanisms for the mobilization of resources at the national level, and make efficient use of funding for the two agendas; and
  • Implement the key messages of the Regional Forum.

The Declaration also calls upon the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and other partners to scale up their support of member States’ capacity development for the implementation of the two agendas, and establish and implement a regional strategy to support the UN Decade of Action through targeted interventions and capacity development in transformational areas, including: climate action; youth education, entrepreneurship and innovation; women’s empowerment; food systems; data and statistics; trade; evidence-based voluntary national and local reviews and integrated planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting tools; science, technology and innovation; and stakeholder engagement.

The plenary decided that the Republic of Congo will host the next session in 2021.

During the closing plenary, Paul Mavima, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Zimbabwe, thanked African member states for the opportunity to host the meeting, emphasizing that the Forum provided a firm launching pad for a decade of action for accelerating implementation of the SDGs. He noted that the Victoria Falls Declaration and its ambitious work plan should find traction in sustainable development processes and expressed commitment to working to realize the commitments made at the Forum. Calling on Africa to “rise and shine”, he closed the meeting at 6:35pm.

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: Paul Mavima, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Zimbabwe; and Oliver Chinganya, ECA
Delegates from Benin
Edlam Abera Yemeru, ECA
Allan Mukungu, ECA
Linus Mofor, ECA
Evelyn Ndlovu, Minister of State in the Office of the Vice President, Zimbabwe
Sellami Mokhtar, Algeria
Blessed Mathe, Youth representative and student from Mosi-Oa-Tunya High School, Zimbabwe
Jean-Paul Adam, ECA
L-R: Hubert Gijzen, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, (UNESCO); Amon Murwira, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, Zimbabwe; and Ellen Gwaradzimba, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Manicaland, Zimbabwe
Jimmi Ocitti , ECA
Stephen Chacha, Africa Regional Civil Society Engagement Mechanism
L-R: Oliver Chinganya, Charles Akol, and Jimmy Ocitti, ECA
L-R: Joseph Mpunga, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); and Sidi Ahmedou, Arab Maghreb Union
L-R: Rosette Nyirinkindi Katungye, African Union Commission, and Munyaradzi Chenje, UN Development Coordination Office
L-R: Armand Akoula and Vivien Parfait Moutou, Congo, presented their government's intention to host AFRSD 2021
Maliki Slimane, Morocco, receives a gift presented to heads of delegation by Paul Mavima, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Zimbabwe
Jacqueline Amongin, Member of Parliament, Uganda
Farah Bouqartacha, Rapporteur, Morocco
Oliver Chinganya, ECA, on behalf of Vera Songwe, Under Secretary-General, and Executive Secretary, ECA
Paul Mavima, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Zimbabwe, officially closed the meeting at 6:35 pm.
Family photo of ARFSD 2020 Bureau and ECA staff



Negotiating blocs
African Union
Non-state coalitions