Rallying for Africa Innovation -VP Taylor Enthralls Hundreds at SDGs Conference

As the world competes in technology in all fields of studies, the largest and most populous continent, Africa, is crawling. And it is said, “He who is behind in the race must forever remain behind or run faster than the one in front”. The maxim resonates with Africa and many of its countries which are concerned with how to obtain an equal space in the changing world. Last week, 35 African countries and five others from other continents met in Kigali, Rwanda, where the over 1000 attendees gave audience to President George Manneh Weah’s deputy, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, who delivered the keynote address at the opening. As The Analyst reports, the VP Taylor excited Africa to push hard in the fight against poverty, illiteracy and disease.

Liberia’s Vice President, H.E. Jewel Howard Taylor, has been rallying the global community, mainly Africa, to concertedly fight poverty, its causes and ramifications across cultures and civilization.

The Liberian Vice President this cannot be achieved without building of strong democratic parliaments, adherence to the rule of law, elimination of the culture of corruption and the involvement of all stakeholders as major steps which will guarantee African nations’ ability to overcome the current national challenges.

VP Howard-Taylor opined that African nations must create new financing vehicles for the implementation of the SDGs and internal mechanisms must be actualized.

She recommended the restructuring of national budgets to reduce recurrent expenditure, straightening revenue administration, opening up the governance space and supporting inclusive social growth initiatives.

The Liberian Vice President, who deputized for His Excellency President George M. Weah spoke on the Topic, “Why Africa needs new financing vehicles for Health, Education and Rainfed Agriculture”.

She stressed the urgent need for political will by African leaders to harness the human and natural resources of Africa for the implementation of the SDGs.

The Liberian Vice President welcomed the SDGs Center for Africa 2019 Index Report and the three-year Reality Check report which offered statistics and empirical data on the progress of each African nation in the achievement of the SDGs.

He also called for the establishment of the “Special Africa Global Fund” to address issues encapsulated into the SDGs and other development imperatives facing the people of the continent.

This fund according to the Vice President will cover the contribution of African nations as well as international partners for the implementation of the SDGs.

She singled out education, health and agriculture as the critical sectors to which the funds can be directed.

The first Liberian female Vice President labeled the issues of education, health and agriculture as survival issues.

VP Howard-Taylor also participated on the Presidential Panel which focused on the Topic: “Reflection on SDGs Progress in Africa”.

Members of the panel also included Mr. Paul Kigame, President of the Republic of Rwanda; Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia and Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairman of the African Union Commission.

The panel’s discussion was moderated by Dr. Donald Kaberuka, 7th President of the African Development Bank Group.

At the Presidential Panel discussion, the Vice President affirmed the possibility of African nations to achieve the SDGs, given that the human and natural resources are available.

She identified education and gender empowerment as fundamental pillars required to accelerate the progress of Africa.

The Liberian Vice President also represented His Excellency President George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia at the 7th Board Meeting of the SDGs Center for Africa.

She reaffirmed the government of Liberia’s commitment to the achievement of SDGs and thanked the members of the Board for giving Liberia a golden opportunity to host the SDGs Sub-Center for Mano River Union (MRU) Countries and by extension, the West Africa Sub-region.

Conference which kicked off Wednesday June 12 to Friday, June 14, 2019, and it brought together over 1,000 participants from across 40 countries, 35 of which came from across Africa.

The conference was organized by the SDGs Center for Africa, under the theme: “SDGs Implementation in Africa- Reflections on a three year journey”.

Madam Vice President also held bilateral discussions with His Excellency President Paul Kigame on diplomatic relations, including governance and economic cooperation.

The SDGs Center for Africa was established in September 2015, by a resolution of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) leadership Council.

The Center is Africa’s pre-eminent institution on implementing the SDGs, showcasing a strong and deep commitment to the principles of the UN’s post 2015 development agenda.

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