Today, the Government of the Republic of Zambia and the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa (SDGC/A) signed a Host Country Agreement that will facilitate the establishment of a Sub-regional Center of Excellence in Zambia. The SDGC/A Sub-regional Center in Zambia intends to support the Government of Zambia and other governments located in the Southern Africa region in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Its establishment comes after 2 years of the official launch of the SDGC/A in Kigali, Rwanda and continues the SDGC/A’s commitment to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development throughout the five regions of Africa.
Under the leadership of His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of
Zambia, the Agreement was signed by Honorable Joseph Malanji, Minister of Foreign Affairs on behalf of the Host government and Dr. Belay Begashaw, Director General of the SDGC/A. Also present at the signing ceremony were Honorable Alexander Chiteme, Minister of National Development Planning; Ambassador Chalwe Lombe, Permanent Secretary for International Relations and Cooperation (IR&C) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Mushuma Mulenga, Permanent Secretary for development Cooperation, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Ministry of National Development Planning, Mr. Eliphas Chinyonga, Assistant Director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Francis Mpampi, Assistant Director of National Development Planning, Dr. Betsee Parker, Board Member of the SDGC/A and Ambassador DHO Young-Shim, Special Advisor to the SDGC/A.
Following a resolution of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN) Leadership Council, commissioned under the auspices of the UN Secretary General, the SDGC/A opened in July of 2016. The Center was established by African leaders as Africa’s preeminent institution championing the implementation of the SDGs in line with the principles of African Union’s Agenda 2063. The Center is governed by the Founding Board Chair, His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, and Co-Chair Aliko Dangote, Owner of Dangote Group; as well as by other Board Members that include Heads of State, business leaders and renowned civil society activists. With its headquarters in Kigali, Rwanda, the SDGC/A is expanding to open Sub-regional Centers throughout Africa in order to carry out its mandate with more focus on regional priorities and challenges.
Under the terms of the Host Country Agreement, the Republic of Zambia will provide facilities and services required for the Sub-regional Center that will support the achievement of the SDGs and Agenda 2063. The Sub-regional Center will focus primarily on supporting the Government of Zambia and other governments located in the Southern African region in achieving the SDGs.The Sub-regional Center will be governed, directed and will operate under the oversight of the SDGC/A headquarters in Rwanda.
Through the SDGC/A Sub-regional Center, the Government of Zambia will benefit from the
expertise and experience of the SDGC/A with the intention of working with key partners and establishing programs related to the region’s priorities in achieving the SDGs. The Republic of Zambia serves as a perfect entry point for the SDGC/A to provide support to the Southern African region through strengthening their capacities on economic and social development in order to help coordinate SDG activities.
During the brief remarks before the signing ceremony, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Honorable Joseph Malanji stated the following; “I am very pleased and honored to have been the one to sign this agreement establishing the SDGs Center, It is a very good thing that Zambia has been chosen to represent the region. Even though Zambia is landlocked, it is land linked and this [Host Country Agreement] signing embodies the aspirations and wishes of the Zambian Government to boost the SDGs agenda on the continent. This is the script for development up to 2030 and I think a Center of this nature will help to keep a certain momentum going in terms of the objectives that have to be achieved.”
The Director General of the SDGC/A, Dr. Belay Begashaw thanked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their remarkable commitment to establishing the Host Country Agreement with the Center. The Director General went on to remark: “On behalf of the SDGC/A Board of Directors, I would like to thank the Government of the Republic of Zambia and His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu for hosting the establishment of our second Sub-regional Center in Southern Africa. Through this Sub-regional Center we will offer our technical support, advice and expertise primarily to the Governments of Southern Africa and other stakeholders to help accelerate their implementation of the SDG Agenda for the benefit of their countries and the region as a whole.”
The SDGC/A Sub-regional Centers aim to support regional partnerships and integration, and help address more regional challenges faced by countries in order for them to achieve the SDGs. The SDGC/A will work with governments and other stakeholders to determine the region’s priorities and will bring in a team of experts at the Sub-regional Center who will focus on those priorities.
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The Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa (SDGC/A) is an autonomous international organization, that provides technical support, and expertise as input to national governments, private sector, civil society, academic institutions to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda across Africa. The SDGC/A builds upon the existing successes of the African continent by bringing together people, ideas, and innovation from across the world to collectively build a more sustainable future.