The United Nations has urged stakeholders to position women and girls at the center of economies to achieve the 2030 Agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Matthias Schmale, made the call at the Africa Social Impact Summit organized by the Sterling One Foundation, in Abuja.
The theme of the summit was “Rethink, Rebuild, Recover: Accelerating Growth for the SDGs”.
According to Schmale, Nigeria is critically important to the success of the 2030 agenda, both in Africa and globally.
He, however, said Nigeria was not on track to achieve many of its SDGs by 2030.
“Our guiding principle for development and social impact is that, along with the internally displaced and refugees hit particularly hard by growing unemployment, spiraling inflation and insufficient access to education and services of quality health, we must rethink how best to support the most vulnerable on this continent.
He said the challenge for older generations was to create an enabling environment for young people to reach their full potential.
“As young people, women and girls face many challenges in realizing their potential. Our late secretary, Kofi Anan, was right when he said that gender equality is more than a goal in itself. This is a prerequisite for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.
“If we put women and girls at the center of economies, we will fundamentally achieve better and more sustainable outcomes for all, support faster recovery and put Africa back on track to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs that drive it.” accompany. During my almost 8 months in Nigeria, I have been inspired by the many captains of industry who are women. We must learn from positive examples of achieving greater gender equality to further fuel African economies.
“Empowering women and girls helps increase economic growth. In fact, studies show that women and men participating equally in the economy could add an additional $28 trillion to global annual GDP by 2025. Just yesterday I met with a group representatives of the disability community. They made a strong and compelling plea that leaving no one behind must include them and especially women with disabilities if we truly want inclusive growth.
“When talking about economic growth, allow me to emphasize that we must think about growth and social protection together. It is obvious that there is no silver bullet in a country like Nigeria to lift the nearly 100 million people living on less than 370 naira a day above the poverty line. The losers must be protected in the short and medium term by effective and innovative means, in particular through cash transfer programs.
“And it’s imperative that support and subsidies to make life more bearable for the poor really get to them, and those important adjustments are made where they don’t.”
He added that effective development requires investments in quality education for all and affordable health care.
Also speaking, Sterling Bank Chief Executive and Sterling One Foundation Board Member Abubakar Suleiman said the summit would bring the idea of investments to drive social impact to address the SDGs, climate change, food security, education, renewable energy, water, sanitation and hygiene.
“A lot of people are going to meet here for the first time and start working together, some are already working together and they’re going to accelerate what they’re doing. We have the opportunity to bring together government, non-governmental organizations and the private sector to solve the same problem,” Suleiman said.
For her part, the foundation’s chief executive, Olapeju Ibekwe, said everyone must be on deck to achieve the goals of the SDGs.
“The pandemic has set us back towards achieving the SDGs but before 2030 we have a lot to do. This summit must lead inclusive regional conversations and engage decision makers from the public and private sectors to propose a new path to accelerate the achievement of the goals,” she said.
The punch reports that the summit will enable impact investors to design market-driven solutions and accelerate impact investments in Africa to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals with a focus on climate solutions, economics circular, agriculture, renewable energies, health and WASH.