After ten very active years, the Africa Progress Panel ceased its activities at the end of 2017, the Chair of the Africa Progress Panel (APP), Kofi Annan recently confirmed.
According to Annan, the APP’s work will be taken over from 2018 by a new entity, provisionally named the Africa Progress Group, which is to be established by Panel member, and former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo.
The new entity, with operational headquarters at the Centre for Human Security and Dialogue of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Nigeria, will seek to create a network of robust regional and international partnerships focused on pushing for the implementation of the recommendations the APP has made over the years in its Africa Progress Reports and policy statements.
Africa Progress Panel final report
The report, Making Progress Towards Attaining the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa draws from the insights cultivated over the APP’s decade of work (2007-2017), outlining the key opportunities and challenges Africa faces as it strives to realise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and create long-term equitable and sustainable prosperity.
Among the SDGs, is goal number seven, which seeks to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
The APP’s final report is primarily a call to action. It presents a bold agenda for African progress, to be taken forward by leaders on the continent and abroad to accelerate Africa’s transformation in the coming decades.
Three core priorities for action highlighted in the final Panel report are as follows:
- Mobilise sufficient financial resources fast for Africa’s “green and blue” (agriculture and fisheries sector) revolutions,
- Rapidly boost investment in Africa’s energy and transport infrastructure,
- And fight against illicit financial activities and the mismanagement of Africa’s resources.
Addressing climate change challenge
In addition to effectively addressing the climate change challenge, the report suggests that Africa must also proactively rethink the relationship between energy and development, and swiftly leapfrog to a new era of low carbon efficient modern energy systems that provide affordable electricity to all Africans.
The Panel also emphasises that a culture of accountability, with zero tolerance for corruption at all levels, supported by transparent institutions, especially with regards to financial activities and tax regimes, will also be fundamental to achieving progressive change and positive transformation on the continent.
Additionally, President Obasanjo stressed the importance of ensuring gender equality as soon as possible.
“Africa’s future is in the hands of women. Equal education for girls, at all three education levels, is the critical issue”, he said.
Reaffirming the APP’s recognition of the hard work that lies ahead, the final Africa Progress Panel report concludes thus:
“We have seen Africa transform over the past decade, and our work has left us with an unshakeable hope for its future. We also know, however, that this transformation has required hard work, creativity and courage. This will continue to be vital in the coming years, for much remains to be done.”
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