Invaluable lessons from MDGs for local development

Botswana takes forward invaluable lessons in goal setting and synergising aspirations from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which make way for the new Sustainable Development Goals, end of this year.

A senior official in the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MoFDP) said this at the Botswana Coalition on Sustainable Development Goals stakeholder interaction on the SDGs on Monday.

Director of population and development coordination in the finance ministry, Lesego Chalashika said though a top-down approach was not inclusive, the MDGs have taught Botswana the significance of setting goals as well as coming up with targets and indicators to guide the developmental roadmap.

“This was relatively new to most developing countries, Botswana included. Moving into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) we are now accustomed to the vitality of goal setting, targets, as well as coming up with timeframes to achieve any level of development,” Chalashika said.  

Moreover, Chalashika said the MDGs have overemphasised the significance of synergies between goals and across sectors as previously developmental undertakings were implemented in silos.   Unlike their predecessor, the SDGs have been hailed for taking a bottom-up approach, as countries where actively involved and consulted to submit priority areas that then informed the 17 goals.

Countries will on September 25, adopt a set of global goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all, as part of a new sustainable development agenda.

Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. Meanwhile, the country is reported to have had successes on the MDGs that measured access as opposed to those that measured output most of which were health related goals.

Though extreme poverty and hunger halved from 1993-2010 from 47 percent in the period 1993-1994, to 30.6 percent in 2001-2003 to 19.6 percent ultimately for the period 2009-2010, more females continue to live below the poverty datum line at below 10.7 percent.  “Poverty remains highest in rural areas at 24 percent, however, these areas have experienced the highest poverty decrease ever at 45.7 percent,” Chalashika said.  She added that an analysis of improvement rates reveals that the four leading districts of improvement were Orapa, Chobe, Kgalagadi South and Jwaneng.  The latest population census indicates that female unemployment remains higher, at 22.6 percent compared to 17.7 percent for males.

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