Botswana polishes up SDGs proposals


Botswana and other members of the United Nations family are expected to submit their final recommendations on the possible indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by Friday this week.

The Director of Macro Economic Policy in the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), Dr Ernest Makhwaje said this yesterday at the SDGs indicators stakeholders’ consultative workshop.

Government departments, private sector, development partners as well as the civil society attended the workshop.

The Post 2015 Development Agenda termed ‘Transforming our World, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ is underpinned by a set of 17 time bound SDGs which will succeed the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) due to be concluded in two months.

Makhwaje told the meeting that the transition from the MDGs to SDGs is timely for the country as it coincides with the ongoing process of preparing three key national documents.

“As such unique opportunity arises for Botswana to align this medium term to long term national goals and priorities to those of the new SDGs,” said Makhwaje.

The documents include the 2016/17 annual budget speeches, National Development Plan (NDP11) as well as the national vision beyond 2016.  According to Makhwaje, these national priorities are geared towards tackling the main challenges facing the country, which includes poverty, unemployment and income inequalities. “Botswana is renowned for developing good policies and has a challenge of implementing them. I hope that the Monitoring System housed at Statistics Botswana will be re-engineered and enhanced in order to cope with this mammoth task of providing updates,” he said. The SDGs are expected to form the bedrock of the development planning processes and influence the outlook for Botswana’s next vision. The objective of the workshop was to solicit comments on relevance and measurability of proposed SDGs indicators.

Statistician General, Anna Majelantle said that as Statistics Botswana (SB) they wanted to appraise on the SDG development process by ensuring the participation in the preparation of Botswana’s contribution to the indicator framework.

“Your participation is a testimony of the importance you attach to Botswana’s future and development agenda for the next generation,” she said. Majelantle added that the adoption of these indicators would undoubtedly usher in additional demands on the statistical agency to provide timely data to facilitate monitoring and evaluation of SDGs.

She also called on stakeholders to make contribution in the generation of data as well as conduct surveys to enable SB to timely respond to their immediate statistical needs. Botswana was among the 193 members of the United Nations family that officially adopted the Post 2015 Development Agenda at the United Nations Summit on sustainable development, which was held two weeks ago.

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