Africa Sustainable Development Report 2018, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

The “Africa Sustainable Development Report 2018” provides an integrated assessment of the continent’s progress towards implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the First Ten Year Implementation Plan of the African Union Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want. In line with the theme of the 2018 High-level Political Forum (HLPF), this year’s report is aligned with “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies” and Goals 6, 7, 11, 12 and 15 of the 2030 Agenda.

The key findings of the report are: i) access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation is improving but remains very low in Africa despite increasing official development assistance (ODA) for the sector, ii) access to electricity in Africa is increasing, albeit at a pace lower than the population growth, iii) Africa’s renewable energy potential remains largely untapped, iv) efficiency in energy use is improving but reliance on biomass poses a challenge to progress, v) Africa is the fastest urbanizing region globally, but the potential benefits are not yet fully exploited, vi) implementing national disaster strategies reduces the vulnerability of cities to the impact of disasters., vii) the air quality in most African cities is poor and poses health risks, particularly for children, viii) Africa, excluding North Africa, wastes over 30% of its annual food production due to large post-harvest losses, ix) Africa outperforms most of the world’s regions in the conservation and sustainable use of its mountain resources, x) Africa is losing forest cover at a rate that is much higher than the global average.

The report also identifies the following perspectives for policymakers: i) African countries need to prioritize investments in water and sanitation to improve access, enhance health outcomes and leverage the productive capacities of the population, ii) strengthen capacities for and integrate urban planning into national development planning, iii) invest in technologies and infrastructure that reduce post-harvest losses, iv) African countries need to design and implement long-term management plans for forest areas, and establish partnerships with the private sector and individual owners of large proportions of forested areas that are legally outside protected areas, v) improve rural access to modern energy to address rural-urban disparities, vi) strengthen the science, technology and innovation ecosystem and leverage investments in research and development by building institutions that coordinate government, the private sector and the science community.

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