STAKEHOLDERS CONSULTATIVE WORKSHOP ON THE SDGS
A one-day Stakeholders’ Consultative Workshop on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), organized by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) in collaboration with Marie–Schelei Association, was held in Nairobi, Kenya, on 15th March 2017. The All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) was represented by Ms. Zipporah Mwaura, Executive Secretary, Youth and Children and Ms. Syovata Kilonzo, from the Ecumenical Disability Advocates’ Network (EDAN).
The workshop brought together stakeholders drawn from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), development partners and relevant government ministries, e.g. the Ministry of Devolution and Planning, Kenya, the SDGs Kenya Forum, the SDGs African Platform, among others.
The SDGs were adopted in September 2015 by world leaders, whereby 17 goals were created, each with a specific target to be achieved within the next 15 years, by the year 2030, as the next set of goals following the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). The aim of the workshop was to address systematic challenges across economic, social and ecological dimensions of sustainable development. In this workshop, the participants were reminded that, for successful implementation of the SDGs, integration and mainstreaming of the goals into institutions’ practices and programs is key, and it does not only require a high-level approach, but also an approach at organization, grassroots, regional, national and global levels, to ensure that no one is left behind.
The workshop main objectives were:
- i.Share knowledge and expertise to deepen the participants’ understanding of the SDGs and identify gaps in their implementation;
- ii.Provide insights/recommendations to stakeholders that can inform the implementation of the SDGs;
- iii.Share and exchange the North-South perspectives on the challenges of coherent economic, social and ecological sustainable development.
The participants resolved to:
- i.Employ transparency and coherence for fruitful implementation of SDGs and address challenges across economic, social and ecological dimensions;
- ii.Promote an open engagement with all stakeholders, as well as sharing of information to implement the Agenda 2030;
- iii.Maintain dialogue between partners and form a regional interactive partnership network of development to implement the SDGs, which need to be understood well by all, both at high level and grassroots level;
- iv.Explore opportunities of engagement with the SDGs, as an organization’s sign of commitment to address the challenges affecting the developing countries determined to make the world a better place.
The AACC has engaged with the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 and has been involved in the development of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), working closely with the Africa Interfaith Leaders’ Initiative on Post 2015. She has also walked closely with women and youth leaders from her member churches, creating a platform and a chance for young men and women to come together, discuss and exchange ideas on issues that are positively and negatively influencing their lives in different areas. She has started awareness creation on the SDGs and Agenda 2063 and also tackled a number of the goals already:
- •Goal No 5, when some staff participated in the recently held 9th African Union Gender Pre-Summit on Gender Justice and committed to spread the recommendations thereof with member churches;
- •Goal No 8, when she empowered women, young women and men in entrepreneurship and skills building;
- •Goal no 16, when she has held workshops on trauma healing, Gender Based Violence, Religious Extremism and Radicalization, among others.
The AACC planned to work on a teaching material giving biblical basis under the caption “Faith in Action” for each of the Goals, in order to anchor the SDGs from the perspective of the Church.