Vice President, Jewel Howard-Taylor has delivered the keynote address at the opening session of the SDGs conference held in Kigali, Rwanda.
According to a dispatch, the conference which kicked off Wednesday June 12 to Friday, June 14, 2019, brought together over 1,000 participants from across 40 countries, 35 of which came from across Africa.
The conference was organized by the SDGs Center for Africa, under the theme: “SDGs Implementation in Africa- Reflections on a three year journey”.The Liberian Vice President who deputized for President George M. Weah spoke on the Topic: “Why Africa needs new financing vehicles for Health, Education and Rainfed Agriculture”.
In her splendid presentation, Madam VP stressed the urgent need for political will by African leaders to harness the human and natural resources of Africa for the implementation of the SDGs.
She called for the building of strong democratic parliament, adherence to the Rule of Law, elimination of the culture of corruption and the involvement of all stakeholders as major steps which will guarantee African Nations ability to overcome the current national challenges.
VP Howard-Taylor also opined that for African Nations to create new financing vehicles for the implementation of the SDGs, internal mechanisms must be actualized.
She recommended the restructuring of national budgets to reduce recurrent expenditure, straightening revenue administration, opening up the governance space and supporting inclusive social growth initiatives. On the external front, Madam Vice President called for the establishment of the “SPECIAL AFRICA GLOBAL FUND”.
This fund according to the Vice President will cover the contribution of African Nations as well as international partners for the implementation of the SDGs.
She singled out education, health and agriculture as the critical sectors to which the funds can be directed.
The first Liberian female Vice President labeled the issues of education, health and agriculture as Survival issues.VP Howard-Taylor also participated on the Presidential Panel which focused on the Topic: “Reflection on SDGs Progress in Africa”.
Members of the panel were His Excellency Paul Kigame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia and His Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairman of the African Union Commission.
The panel’s discussion was moderated by Dr. Donald Kaberuka, 7th President of the African Development Bank Group.
At the Presidential Panel discussion, the Vice President affirmed the possibility of African Nations to achieve the SDGs, given that the human and natural resources are available.
She identified education and gender empowerment as fundamental pillars required to accelerate the progress of Africa.The Liberian Vice President also represented His Excellency President George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia at the 7th Board Meeting of the SDGs Center for Africa.
The Vice President reaffirmed the government of Liberia’s commitment to the achievement of SDGs and thanked the members of the Board for giving Liberia a golden opportunity to host the SDGs Sub-Center for Mano River Union (MRU) Countries and by extension, the West Africa Sub-region.
VP Howard-Taylor welcomed the SDGs Center for Africa 2019 Index Report and the Three-year Reality Check report which offer statistics and empirical data on the progress of each African Nation in the achievement of the SDGs.
Some members of the Board include: His Excellency Paul Kigame, President of the Republic of Rwanda and Chairman of the Board, Mr. Aliko Dangote, Co-chairman, His Excellency Nana Akufo Addo, President of Ghana, His Excellency Idriss Deby Itno, President of Chad, His Excellency Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, President of Mozambique, Prof. Jeffrey D. Sachs, amongst others.Madam Vice President also held bilateral discussions with His Excellency President Paul Kigame on diplomatic relations.
Issues relative to governance and economic cooperation were highly discussed.
The SDGs Center for Africa was established in September 2015, by a resolution of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) leadership Council.
The Center is Africa’s pre-eminent institution on implementing the SDGs, showcasing a strong and deep commitment to the principles of the UN’s post 2015 development agenda. –Dispatch