Getting Familiar with the SDGs

Jul 30, 2015

UNDP partnered with UNDESA and Ethiopia’s National Planning Commission to familiarise participants from various public sectors with the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Addis Ababa Agenda for Action, which was agreed upon at the end of the third financing for development conference hosted by Ethiopia in July 2015.

The SDG has 17 goals and 169 target areas promote sustainable development in the areas of social, economic and environment.

 The two-day workshop explored the principles behind the SDGs and how they differ from the MDGs; it also looked at the need for integrating the SDGs into the country’s national development agenda and ensure coordination across sectors. Participants also discussed the financial requirements for the implementation of the SDGs.

This is an opportune time for Ethiopia to learn from implementation of its national development plans including the Climate Resilient Green Growth strategy, acting UN Resident Coordinator Mr. George Okutho told participants.

Participants noted that Ethiopia has gained valuable experience in terms of integrating MDGs in its medium term national development plans and this experience would be useful in integrating SDGs into the country’s new development agenda.
UNDP has supported Ethiopia to mainstream the MDGs into the national development plan and monitor progress. The country is in the process of finalizing the second of its five-year development plan, Growth and Transformation Plan II (GTP II) expected to be passed by parliament in October 2015.

Building on existing systems

Mr. Admassu Nebebe, Director of UN Agencies and Regional Economic Cooperation within the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, told participants that with the introduction of the SDGs Ethiopia will be embarking on a new cooperation envionment.

He underscored that the country considered all financial sources as equally important, having no preference of one over the other; On the other hand Ethiopia will increasingly be relying on domestic resources but this will require continuous double digit growth. Each sector will be called upon to look into maximizing international cooperation around the Addis Ababa Agenda for Action.

It was noted that Ethiopia will use existing coordination mechanisms to mainstream the SDGs into national priorities and strategies. The National Planning Commission will be developing results framework for the SDGs and GTP II; the availability of a reliable baseline data is also expected be a determining factor while integrating SDG targets in GDPII.

Participants raised concern over the quality and reliability of data, particularly of local level administrative reporting, and the obstacle this might pose to the post 2015 development agenda. It was highlighted that while gaps did exist in data system but Ethiopia is not starting with a blank slate as certain sectors are making good use of up to date technology to get real time data, e.g. metrology. Participates underlined that the use of innovative approaches could help the country to leapfrog the data gap.

Mr. Admassu Nebebe explained that Ethiopia was said to be creating a legal institutional frameework that addresses illicit financial flows to decease the country’s vulnerabilities as more multinationals come in. He also acknowledged the government was undertaking continuous reform in order to address issues facing the private sector.

Ethiopia and other LDCs are expected to gain from increased access to export market in the coming 15 years. Ethiopia seeks to become a high income industrial economy by 2050. In order to meet this target, GTIP II calls for the country to sustain an average real GDP growth rate of 11 percent. The country will also be aiming to enhance its structural transformation by improving national engineering and fabrication capacity. GTP II will also call for investments in building up a competent and competitive body of Ethiopian entrepreneur to drive growth.

Technical materials for the two-day workshop were provided by the UN Development Group (UNDG) and United Nations Institute for Training and Applied Research (UNITAR).

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