Path to Sustainable Development Goals: An African Vantage Point
In order to meet sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030, Africa has many challenges. The continent, however, still has a window of chance to solve these obstacles by leapfrogging. Because of Africa’s late-comer status with other areas, Sub-Saharan African countries will make significant progress in growth by introducing new ways of thinking and deploying various applications. No single approach is a panacea for the growth of the continent, but the essence of this book is a multi-pronged, holistic view of these challenges.
This book is a catalyst for African scholars, students, researchers from the African continent, politicians, civil society, and practitioners working to achieve Sustainable Development Goals and eventually improve the livelihood of Africans.
In line with SDG 9, which drives infrastructure growth, industrialization, and innovation, Chapter One discusses the importance of the adoption of space research and its applications, mainly remote sensing and geospatial information systems. A main enabler for African countries to collect reliable data that can reliably inform policymakers in their decision-making is the use of Remote Sensing and Geospatial Information Systems. The chapter addresses the key players who have carried out space research on the African continent and its applications to efficiently handle the abundance of natural resources in Africa and to bridge the technological gap with other regions. For African countries that have nascent or non-existent space programmes, these techniques are instructive.
Chapter Two considers the financing of micro, small and medium enterprises in Tanzania and the value of community lending because of its high outreach, i.e. reaching the indigent who are often denied loans by conventional banking institutions. The availability of microfinance is vital to achieving SDGs 1 and 10, which provide for an end to poverty and a decrease in inequality. In addition, substantial financial resilience has been demonstrated by microfinance institutions that offer loans to small business owners. To attract more funding in this region, policymakers need to build a friendly atmosphere so that young people are encouraged to set up and develop businesses that create much-needed jobs.
In the sense of SDG 7, the promotion of sustainable and renewable energy, Chapter Three addresses the fundamental problems of the Energy and Climate Change Nexus in Sub-Saharan Africa. Access to affordable, effective, safe and modern energy for all is provided for in SDG 7. In addition, SSA governments must concentrate on producing renewable sources of energy to triple the availability of electricity because of the disproportionate access to electricity for people in SSA relative to other regions, thus minimising the carbon footprint pursuant to SDG 13, which highlights climate action. The author posed many important questions and answers relating to the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. In addition, the primary carbon emissions in SSA and methods of emission minimisation were addressed in this chapter.
The key characteristics of strong agricultural value chains were explored in Chapter Four, highlighting Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia, and how these best-in-class value chains can be replicated and extended to other African countries in the context of SDG 2.
Chapter Five recognises registered quality education and gender equity in education in African countries and is on track to achieve SDGs 4 and 5, respectively. The approaches and techniques employed as potential best practises by effective countries. The importance of gender equality is not only a human rights issue, but it is also a major development issue to tap into the full potential of around 50% of women in the African population.
The Epilogue ends by discussing briefly how the global supply chain disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in local development of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), test kits, sanitizers, and even ventilators for SMEs in African countries. African SMEs have the means to add value and manufacture high-quality products that are accessible to the local population, thereby creating local jobs. Governments should bridge the financing gap in line with SDG 1 in collaboration with MFIs to allow financing for SMEs.
In addition, the author suggested the early operationalization of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which has the potential to increase intra-African trade from the current 18 percent of total exports, while the remaining percentage of trade is with the rest of the world. SDG 1 calls for actions that allow the poor and the weak to have fair rights to economic opportunities. By enabling free movement of people, goods and services across African borders, boosting trade, adopting AfCFTA would push SDG 10 to reduce poverty and reduce inequality among people.
Obed Hugh Ligate
Adjunct Faculty, School of Business, George Mason University, United States.
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