Sustainable Development Goals: The Journey so far
Our world is more united than ever before. Like a mother gathers her chicks, leaders around the world have converged over the past centuries to resolve global crisis and to proffer acceptable solutions to the many challenges that face people all over the world. We have fought epidemics, ended wars, remove dictators, deal with maternal mortality, alleviate poverty in many nations, the list goes on.
The coming together of leaders at the United Nations birthed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in year 2000 which lasted for 15 years, and having evaluated the progress and achievements so far, this was swiftly replaced by more meaningful goals correctly called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
From the changes observed in the world so far, it is evident development is never instant, it takes a process. Time is needed, as well as cooperation by governments, corporations and stakeholders across every country in the world.
The SDG’s which are 17 in number came fully into operation in 2016 January and is to last for another 15 years (ending 2030). The goals can best be described as a universal clarion call to action to put an end to poverty, protect our planet, and to ensure that everyone in the world enjoys peace, progress, and prosperity. The issues the SDGs address aren’t matters that affect only a few nations –or the developed ones; it affects every nation on earth. This is why it requires the collective effort of all nations and governments to implement. The goals are in many ways similar to the MDGs, however, the new Global Goals encompasses more issues such as Climate Change, innovation, sustainable consumption, justice, equal opportunities for women and girls, amongst others.
Africa and SDGs
Africa is in the eye of the world at the moment with many first world nations looking to Africa as the hope of the world. Boasting with a young and vibrant population and vast natural and human resource, we carry the capacity to provide immense value in the world. More than ever, growth and development is needed in Africa.
How has Africa really fared with the SDGs since its inception?
In response to the adoption of the SDGs, Uganda made a proactive move in designing its National Development plan with the SDGs. This move on the part of the country was heavily supported by the UN Country Team which provided further expert advice to aid its implementation.
In Nigeria, the Federal Government has put measures in place to ensure that the SDGs are fully implemented. To this effect, an office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs was created as well as a House Committee on SDGs at the lower chamber. All these are steps to ensure that the nation is not lagging behind its counterparts.
Inspired by the Global Goals, SocialGood Lagos was established in 2018. It is a community of change makers and innovators united around a shared vision for a better world in 2030. Since its inception we have reached 3000 people and have built a community membership base of over 500 people.
Our summit held in 2018 was themed ‘Bridging the Gap’ #2030Now This summit had in attendance Her Excellency Orelope Adefulire- Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs alongside others like Osayi Alile , Toyin Adesola, Babajide Duroshola, Vera Ikharea, Alexander Orimolade, Banji Adejana, Umem Akpan, Ugochi Obidiegwu and other special guests.
Part of our efforts towards environmental sustainability motivated us to get involved in cleaning the waters in Lagos, Nigeria. While more effort is needed in this aspect, we got involved and increased the awareness about the harms we are bringing to the waters and ultimately to ourselves by the use of plastics and more importantly the wrong dumping of this wastes into the ocean.
We have also lent our voices to issues that affects us a nation. For instance, issues such as voting in our upcoming elections have been the focus of our message this season.
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The Nigeria Elections is 7 days away and the good people of Social Good Lagos are using one voice to defend our votes, to speak up against bad governance and to encourage every Nigerian especially the youths to vote wisely. Remember Nigeria belongs to all of us, don’t sit back to drink tea let’s vote and not fight. Vote for accountability Vote for economic growth Vote for honesty Vote for the future of Nigeria This message is a project of Social Good Lagos which aligns with Sustainable Development Goal 16; peace, justice and strong institutions. It’s proudly supported by Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe Foundation Writer: @thesheilaojei Director: @ImohEboh Executive Producer: Social Good Lagos – #NigeriaDecides2019 #Nigeria #Peace #SocialGood
We believe that the youth have a vital role to play in the achievement of these goals. Mitchell Toomey, the global director of the United Nations SDG Action Campaign, said, “Youth power can lead the way towards the SDGs and the ambitions of the countries all over the world.”
According to Mitchell Toomey, the SDGs themselves were not created by a few people who sat to decide the course of the world. It came out of a conscious effort to get the voices of lots of young people all over the world to talk about the challenges that affected them and what was really important to them. The sum total of the global conversations sparked by youths created the SDGs we have today.
The role of youth is so vital to the change that we seek in Nigeria, Africa and the entire world. If the MDGs could achieve remarkable results such as reduction of maternal mortality by 45%, malaria interventions that prevented the death of millions of people, then we can be certain that with more concerted efforts, the world will be a better place to live in by 2030.
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