Achieving the SDGs in Africa through Structural Transformation
This TICAD VI (Tokyo International Conference for African Development) event has been co-organized by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD), UNDP, and African Development Bank (AfDB).
In August 2016, the TICAD VI1 (Tokyo International Conference for African Development) was held in Nairobi. The conference was hosted by the Government of Kenya and co-organizers, namely the United Nations (UN), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Government of Japan (GoJ). During the 2 days of conference, heads of African states, international development partners, private sector and civil society actively discussed the way forward for the development of Africa, and the commitments were compiled as the conference outcome in the “Nairobi Declaration”.
One of the three priority pillars identified in the Declaration is “promoting structural economic transformation through economic diversification and industrialization”. Structural transformation is an issue recently regarded as one of the most crucial for the sustainable development of Africa. High commodity prices and abundant natural resources were engines for Africa’s economic growth until 2013, when a major mood swing hit the economy and Africa entered a new stage of developmental challenge. The side event held in TICAD VI, “Africa's Transformation through Industrial Policies and Implementing Agenda 2063” 2 provided some insights on the diagnosis of the present economy as well as how Africa can move towards industrialization, and also questioned the appropriate measurements to capture sustainable growth. Key global agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2063 also stress the importance of economic transformation. Goal 9 of the SDGs specifically targets to “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”.
In achieving these goals and realizing the needed transformation, public and private sectors are designated with important roles. Business-as-usual is insufficient to create policies and means that contribute to increasing labor productivity and optimizing labor force distribution. This event aims to realize a thorough dialogue among stakeholders to deepen discussions for the effective way forward towards a successful structural transformation in Africa.