Two top officials underlined the UN’s commitment to Africa’s development during a dialogue with representatives from NGOs, civil society, academic institutions and the private sector, held at UN Headquarters in New York on Friday.

The discussions centred around a UN report that offers recommendations to bolster collaboration towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa, specifically those on financing for development and affordable green energy.

The report reveals that almost 600 million people on the continent still do not have access to sustainable energy due to two main challenges: insufficient energy infrastructure on the one hand, and poor regulatory frameworks coupled with limited planning processes on the other.

Solidarity with Africa

In his opening remarks, UN General Assembly President Csaba Kõrösi called for “unshakable solidarity with Africa”, both from within the continent and from the international community.

“Solidarity based on the understanding that the prosperity of our world, and the security on our globe can never be complete without sustainability in Africa,” he said.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed noted that despite international agreements, commitment to financing for development has been limited due to internal and external factors.

Inefficiency and unfairness

“From the point of view of internal factors, the lack of efficient and transparent mechanisms to support revenue administrations and public financial management results in hundreds of billions lost every year in illicit financial flows and inefficiencies,” she said.

“From the external perspective, internal factors are compounded by an unfair international financial architecture that keeps African countries in a marginal position, making them more vulnerable to debt distress,” she added.