Minister calls for SDGs audit
The Assistant Minister for Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Mr Thato Kwerepe says a lot still needs to be done to advance sustainable development agenda in every country.
He said this during the InterSAI study tour conference held under the theme “The role of the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
The conference attracted four countries namely, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho and Botswana and the assistant minister emphasised the need for SAIs to align their strategies to government’s National Development Plans (NDP) for better delivery of SDGs.
Mr Kwerepe said African countries needed to bring SDGs into audit focus by aligning national priorities with the SDGs. Audit offices, he said, could through their audits and consistent with their mandate and priorities make valuable contribution to national efforts to track progress, monitor implementation and identify improvement opportunities across the set of the SDGs.
He stressed the importance for all to adopt multi-dimensional perspective on development, which incorporates pursuit of human development and environmental sustainability.
He added that they should also acknowledge the importance of addressing weaknesses and marginalisation by involving the full range of stakeholders in national and local development aimed at achieving the SDGs.
Further, the assistant minister called on SAIs from the four countries to urgently address economic, social and environmental issues as they affect them all regardless of where they live.
Some of the pressing challenges he mentioned included poverty, drought, conflict, youth unemployment, forced migration and global warming which, he said, needed urgent attention.
He described the SDGs as universal set of goals, targets and indicators that UN member states would be expected to use to frame their agendas and political policies over the next fifteen years.
“I am humbled that in the recognition of the need to implement the SDGs, this year InterSAI study tour has adopted the theme as a reminder of the importance of sustainable use of natural resources and conservation of the environment,” he added.
Mr Kwerepe said Botswana Reservewhichwasestablishedin strongpoliciesbutalsosignificant
was a signatory to the new global framework on SDGs that was adopted in 2015. To this end, he noted, the SDGs had been mainstreamed into the country’s Vision2036,NDP11andMinistries Strategic Plans to deliver targets under each SDG goal to the extent possible.
Furthermore, he said he had no doubt that Botswana would achieve the agenda 2030 targets, considering the fact that conservation of the environment had always been a major concern.
He cited as an example, the establishment of the Moremi Game 1940 as one of the earliest game reserves in Africa.
The game reserve, he said is still serving its purpose so many decades later. Another example he cited was the world famous Okavango Delta and the Chobe River and invited the delegates to sample the beauty of the mentioned sites.
Mr Kwerepe emphasised the need for neighbouring countries to work together and harmonise legislations for sustainable use of the environment adding that delivering the SDGs by 2030, they would require not only implementation capacity, adequate financing and effective partnership.
Meanwhile, the SDGs otherwise known as Agenda 2030 were developed by the United National General Assembly in September 2015, as the UN realised that the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) limited themselves and were not comprehensive.
They were meant to address challenges of social, environmental, economic and political concerns mainly affecting developing countries in a space of fifteen years.