About one trillion dollars is needed yearly to attain the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) goals, a United Nations Country Director of Communications for Nigeria, Ronald Kayanja has said.
Kayanja lamented that the inability to put enough money and resources together to achieve these goals in Africa is as a result of the difference in the commitment of political leaders.
He said this on Tuesday on the sidelines of the 3rd session of the Babcock International Model United Nations (BIMUN) 2019 Conference with the theme, “Innovation as a Pathway to Integration and Development: Challenges of a Dynamic Africa” held at the Babcock University campus, Ilishan, Ogun State.
Addressing the over three hundred and fifty delegates from about twenty African countries, Kayanja harped on the need to mobilise resources from all sectors including the government, private sector, multinational corporations, international organisations and from individuals to ensure there is even development in all countries of the world.
The country director added that the many challenges facing Africa can be eradicated if innovations by Africans are brought in to complement regional and global integration.
Kayanja said: “BIMUN is a simulation of the UN which helps young people understand how the UN works and it is providing us with a pool of future diplomats for the UN. It comes at a time when we want to achieve African integration. Just last week, we signed the African Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) which will allow us to trade freely and allows for more integration in Africa.
“We are faced with a number of challenges in Africa and we need to move faster with innovation. What we need is not just integration but also, innovation. And we don’t have time to wait because other countries have moved way ahead of us. We need to do more to pull Africa out of poverty and that’s the core of Agenda 2030 and SDGs and also Agenda 2063 of the African Union.
“I am aware that there are some innovations that infringe on human rights. We are looking at how digital technology is infringing on human rights for instance. How people use social media for hate speech and fake news.
“These are things we need to deal with but as we deal with them, it doesn’t mean we stop using these innovations. They are good, we only need moderations and these are what laws are meant to do. In every jurisdiction, we need legal frameworks that protect the citizens when their rights are infringed on.
“One other challenge we are faced with in achieving the SDG goals is the challenge of funds. We need a lot of money to implement projects.
“If we want to make electricity available for all Nigerians, we need a lot of money. If we want to construct a road from Lagos to Mumbasa, we have to invest a lot of money into the development sphere. We need about one trillion US dollars every year until 2030 to achieve these SDGs globally. The money exists, the issue is putting the money into the development sphere.
“Goal 17 talks about the partnership of governments, private sector, international organisations, multinational corporations and individuals. If we wait for government, we will never have enough money to achieve these goals. It is a partnership for all of us, if we want to develop.
“We are also yet to reach a mobilisation, we want to mobilise more young people in Africa to make a strong movement to ensure we achieve these goals. Many of the leaders in Africa are aware of these goals but there is a difference in terms of political commitment. We need this commitment for Agenda 2030.”
Also speaking at the conference, the President/Vice-Chancellor of the University, Dr Tayo Ademola, charged youths to rise and eschew all forms of social vices including thuggery, kidnapping, robbery etc.
“The implication, therefore, is that government globally should create enabling an environment for the youths to rise to leadership positions.
“It is however sad the many youths are now involved in armed robbery, kidnapping, child soldier and other negative vices. Let me remind you and pass the message around and loud that you should not allow anybody to despite your youth, use you to achieve their selfish political agenda.
“I have no doubt that the communique of this conference will be such that will be engaging and invite governments’ attention in Africa to rise up to create better-enabling environment for youths to occupy positions of prominence in Africa and beyond.”