SDG Hub at UP presents Briefing Note on aligning SDGs with African agendas

Posted on October 29, 2019

The South African SDG Hub at the University of Pretoria (UP) recently presented its latest Briefing Note at an event held at UP’s Future Africa campus. Housed in the Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership at UP, the hub supports the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Briefing Note explores the alignment of national, continental and global development agendas. Titled “Coordinating for impact: Aligning Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with the National Development Plan’s [NDP] cycle of development”, it focuses on how South Africa’s NDP, the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the global SDGs can be used together to improve people’s lives.

In his welcome remarks, UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe explained that the university has been involved in working on SDG goals 1 (No Poverty), 3 (Good Health and Well-being), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) and 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions). UP also contributed to the country reports and the four thematic reports.

UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe delivered the welcoming remarks.

“We are very proud to work with our national government to provide this particular kind of service because universities are not entities in their own right,” Prof Kupe said. “Universities belong to society. And the only reason they should exist is to be transformative agents in society. The minute they are not transformative they are a waste of national resources and should be closed.”

Dr Kefiloe Masiteng, Deputy Secretary of the National Planning Commission, delivered the keynote address during which she spoke about how the Briefing Note was a sign of the progress made since 2005, when the SDGs were still called Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

“I remember we were tasked with writing the first report on how South Africa was doing in terms of the MDGs. At the time, we didn’t understand the MDGs. We came up with a five-pager, and our conclusion was that we were going to collect and collate more evidence to write a report. We were very clear that it was not a report but a briefing note,” she said.

Dr Masiteng emphasised the importance of data in getting a proper picture of development in South Africa.

Dr Kefiloe Masiteng, who was the keynote speaker for the launch, spoke about how the Briefing Note was a sign of the progress made since 2005.

“Data is at the heart of making sure that there’s evidence,” she said. “The work we have now allows us to show how far South Africa has come. When we look at the SDGs today, we should always look back to when these were launched. This shows us that by the time the globe wrote the SDGs, we already had a plan in this country.”

This, she added, proves that South Africa was instrumental in the development of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the SDGs. These two blueprints, as well as the NDP, centre on alleviating poverty and inequality.

“[One of] the major issues that needs to be dealt with is the inequality that has separated nations, the inequality that has separated people in villages and people in countries across Africa,” Dr Masiteng said. “We also talk about how issues around education are important for development. The major issue that arises here is that if people are not given access to education they will continue to be unemployed and continue to live in poverty.”

These concerns are not unique to South Africa and Africa, they are global challenges, she stressed.

Read the Briefing Note here.


- Author Masego Panyane

Copyright © University of Pretoria 2024. All rights reserved.

FAQ's Email Us Virtual Campus Share Cookie Preferences