On June 19, the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa (SDGC/A) in partnership with the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) held the soft launch the Africa SDG Index and Dashboards 2018 Report at the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa. The summary report was presented to Ambassadors, Permanent Representatives to the Commission of the African Union, heads of UN agencies, representatives from government, and various stakeholders.

The Africa SDG Index and Dashboards are a tool to track progress toward the SDGs, to help pinpoint key implementation challenges and to assist countries in benchmarking their SDG performance against their African peers. 51 countries are included in the Index ranking and all 54 African countries have country dashboards. Morocco tops the ranking in this first edition of the report with a score of 66,1. This means that Morocco is about 66.1% of the way to achieving the SDGs, according to the measures used in this Index.

Dr. Belay Begashaw, Director General of the SDGC/A, welcomed participants and stated that, “The Africa SDG Index and Dashboards were created to provide the continent with more specific information thanks to country and regional snapshots of SDG performance, and complement official monitoring efforts. The report is a call to action for governments and a tool for inclusiveness.” The high-level delegates also had the opportunity to contribute ideas and experiences. The representative from Tunisia, ranked 2nd, particularly appreciated the Index, noting that “nothing can encourage other member states to reach sustainable development better than ranking, as countries don’t want to be seen as scoring low.”

It was highlighted that achieving the SDGs will require deep commitment, underpinned by strong international partnership. “This will not be easy. Both global social welfare and that of individual nations cannot be achieved if each individual country is not willing to give up something and to devote efforts to multilateral cooperation,” Dr. Begashaw stated. The representative of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN ECA) also emphasized the importance of partnership, particularly with regard to monitoring and evaluation of the continent’s achievement of the SDGs.

Following this soft launch, the full report and interactive website will be launched in a live one-hour online session on Friday, July 6th at 2:00pm Central Africa Time (12:00 UTC). Researchers from SDGC/A and SDSN will present the findings from the report, with a particular focus on how African countries can use the Africa SDG Index and Dashboards as a tool to track their progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There will also be time for Q&A. Please join us via this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0mVKi5Q98I. To tune in, just click on the link when the session begins at 2:00pm CAT (12:00pm UTC) on 6 July.

Going forward, the SDSN and the SDGC/A will work with countries to engage national stakeholders and work to establish the Africa SDG Index Day. This event will convene stakeholders in their respective countries around the SDGs, using this report a useful tool for analysis and action.

You can read the summary report here: http://unsdsn.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/AFRICA-SDG-2018-Final-Summary-Report.pdf