Harare, Feb 6 (IANS) Zimbabwe will at the end of this month host the high-level Sixth Session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD).
In that regard, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday met with United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) executive secretary Vera Songwe to discuss the upcoming conference, which will be held from Feb. 24 to 27 in the resort town of Victoria Falls, reported Xinhua news agency.
The conference, which is the biggest to be held by UNECA, will bring together over 2,000 delegates from United Nations (UN) agencies, African governments and other development partners.
After her meeting with Mnangagwa, Songwe thanked the Zimbabwean government for agreeing to host the forum.
“This is one of the biggest meetings that we as the UN in Africa host, the Africa Sustainable Development Forum and essentially we bring together all of the UN family and all of the member states of the continent to talk about Sustainable Development Goals,” she said.
The aim of the SDGs is to improve the quality of life of people in all aspects by 2030, with major focus on health, education and job creation among others.
“This year is particularly important because we have 10 years to get to 2030 and it is also part of a slice of 2063, the Africa we want, which is the African Union agenda. It really brings everybody together to see what else we need to do to get there,” Songwe said.
She said Zimbabwe represented some of the successes, expectations and challenges that Africa was facing in achieving sustainable development.
“The continent can learn a lot from what you are doing in the ICT sector but you also have challenges with climate change and its consequences,” the UNECA boss said.
With energy production in the region having been hit by frequent drought, Songwe said it was imperative to look at renewable energy and the role of regional power pools to ensure African economies are not affected by power shortages.