The South African government, United Nations Development Programme and regional leaders gathered today to push for more inclusive growth for Africa’s 2063 agenda and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
More than 400 leaders met today, 31 August 2017, at the Responsible Business Forum on Sustainable Development, to discuss accelerating and scaling innovations to end poverty, reduce inequalities, address climate change and achieve a healthy and prosperous society.
“The world, just like us here in South Africa and Africa, is looking for new answers, for better transitions and for sharper, higher-impact outcomes” said Jeffrey Radebe, Minister for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. “All of us gathered at the Responsible Business Forum on Sustainable Development, must serve to fashion a sharper message of hope, a more convincing response of action and signal our responsiveness; mindful and eminently aware of that better world we so desperately desire and which we promised. It’s about establishing virtuous cycles for development in our respective spheres. The UN SDGs, Agenda 2063 and our very own National Development Plan, Vision 2030 demands nothing less.”
With participants from over 30 different countries, companies came to the Forum with a highly optimistic view on Africa’s development agenda and the economic opportunities for business, with especially strong participation from the technology and agriculture sectors.
“The Sustainable Development Goals and South Africa’s National Development Plan provide a framework for individual company responses to pressing socio-economic issues, and for partnerships with government, labour and civil society organisations” commented Joanne Yawitch, NBI South Africa Chief Executive Officer.
“It is important that business identifies what the SDG opportunities are, mobilises the required capital and invests in the innovations that are necessary for sustained and more inclusive growth.”
Highlights of the forum include the launch of the UNDP Gender Equality Seal, with speakers from Uganda, Colombia and South Africa committed to empowering women, and presentations from HP’s Chief Technology Officer Shane Wall and Huawei’s Jacky Zhang.
“Assessing where we stand and how we progress further two years after the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals is critically important. The Responsible Business Forum offers a unique platform for companies like Syngenta, and the public sector, to come together to make these goals a reality. I am excited to see the forum come to Africa for the first time and I look forward to seeing outcomes tailored to the incredible potential of this region,” says Andrew McConville, Syngenta Head of Corporate Affairs for Europe Africa and Middle East.