Ethiopia: Towards Meeting National, Global Goals

Emboldened by the remarkable success stories and lessons learnt during Millennium Development Goals, Ethiopia remains as robust as it has been to meet the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), with recent reports indicating Ethiopia’s early performance in some of the golas..

It has been over two years since the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) came to effect with the country positioning well to emulate the success in achieving the SDGs). In fact the credits go to its firm stands on preparing sound national policies and tools of implementations to which Ethiopia has bee doing. Suffice it to mention, the Second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) that covered the period from 2015 to 2020 perfectly matching the SDGs implementation period.

Countries might have to nationalize or contextualize SDGs yet, but Ethiopia has already done it with its successive national plans. This tried and tested national polices would help the country to meet most of the SDGs. To make the progress sustainable, the country comes forward to voluntarily review the implementation however it is early to talk about it years away from the full period. Besides mainstreaming the SDGs into the Growth and Transformation II, promoting active and inclusive engagement and participation of all actors and stakeholders and proper allocation of financial resources requires daunting task to full attain the goals.

Having huge natural and human resource, the country is very well positioned to fulfill the goals. If the nation maintains its progress, made in the early stages of SDGs and manages the nexus among the different sectors efficiently, it is more likely to be among the favorites to meet the goals, says Dr. Francois Fortier, United Nations’ Sustainable Development Policy and Planning Inter-Regional Adviser.

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The country is also among the leading countries in coming forward to voluntarily report its review of SDGs implementation, he underscores.

On the other hand, capacity limitations, financial shortages and the weak policy environment, including leadership, coordination and management challenges, are the most critical factors that may pose difficulties in the implementing the global agenda.

For Dr. Fortier, countries should not excessively depend on global fund. There are plenty of national sources of funds. That is exactly what Ethiopia is doing by trying to exploit natural resources such as its hydro-power funds. This move provides the country with hard currency and resilient energy sources.

“That is what we need to scale up. However, just like the goals, it also requires sustainability in terms of finance, capacity building and coordination. We need to step up international efforts to continue mobilizing global finance and climate funds. But with some challenges jeopardizing climate related agreements and funds while the world faces enormous humanitarian crises, countries may have to mobilize local capacities and promote domestic financial sources”.

SDGs call for carefully selected means of implementations and an integrated approach. So other than designing tailored tools and treating means of implementations separately for each and every sector, it would be more effective to integrate the different sectors through the proper linking strategies.

Implementing SDGs could be challenging due to its generic nature , cut countries like Ethiopia, with preplanned national plans and the same expected outcomes, would find it easier to synchronize the goals with their domestic agendas and have a better chance of meeting the targets,said Dr. Seleshi Bekele Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity.

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For Ethiopia has successfully embraced GTP I and MDGs harmoniously, it could turn out to be a lot conducive for the country to repeat success in SDGs, as they are global phenomena that every nation should undergo with a stronger commitment and resources, says Dr. Semu Ayalew Lecturer at Addis Ababa University Institute of Technology.

Due to the complexity and nature of the goals, countries may have to come up with additional mechanism and tools to identify progress and challenges, which Ethiopia is taking a leading initiative on. This would help the country to draw significant experience to adjust its efforts. In fact, though much remains ahead, the nation is making early progress in achieving the goals, notes Dr. Semu adding that the country is getting itself into a better position to meet SDGs. The issue of sustainability is a call of the day, underscores, Dr. Semu.

To sum up, the country is doing well in terms of a marked increase in various socioeconomic aspects, and the achievements in efforts to reduce absolute poverty, the country still faces a number of challenges and unfinished business. Million people are still living below the poverty line and urban employment is is high and sustainability in all sectors is a must deal issue, hence , the country must continue to keep the momentum in materializing both national and global agenda.

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