On the 14th of June, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa (SDGC/A) released the 2nd edition of the Africa SDG Index and Dashboards report. The report is a call for action not only to meet the SDGs but also to ensure timely and high-quality data on SDG indicators. The report also focuses on the efforts that African governments are taking to incorporate the SDGs into their national strategies, budgets, public engagements, and coordination among branches of government. Governments have a unique and central role to play in achieving the UN’s Agenda 2030 as well as Africa’s own Agenda 2063, which will continue beyond the SDG timeline.
The 2019 report ranks 52 African countries based on 97 indicators across all 17 goals. Only Seychelles and Libya are excluded from ranking due to insufficient data coverage. The SDG Index score signifies a country’s position between the worst (0) and best (100) possible outcomes. Tunisia tops this year’s ranking with a score of 66.01, meaning that the country is 66% of the way towards achieving the SDGs, according to our methodology. Overall, the average score across all countries is just 52.3 (52.7 after weighting by population), implying that the continent as a whole is barely halfway to achieving the SDGs.
While the 2018 report included only 11 countries in the preliminary analysis of SDG implementation, this report includes all 54 African countries. The overall findings on government implementation of the SDGs are as follows:
- The SDGs have widely received official endorsements by African governments and have been incorporated into many government action plans and national strategies.
- There are still widespread gaps on behalf of countries in understanding the distances to SDG targets.
- There is a lack of understanding on what it will take to reach the SDGs, very little consideration for the financial resources that will need to be mobilized, and who will provide the necessary funds.
- Engagement with the public and other stakeholders can significantly be improved. Only four countries have an online portal where citizens can see their countries’ progress toward the SDGs, and less than half of all countries have done awareness-raising activities.
- According to country experts, who validated results for 21 countries, a lack of funding and resources is reported to be the single most significant challenge both in terms of SDG implementation and monitoring.
In terms of the current status and trends toward achieving the SDGs in Africa, this year’s analysis presents a comprehensive and comparable monitoring framework at the continental, subregional, and national levels. An additional new feature in this report is an analysis and grouping of countries according to their performance on each of the SDGs.
We hope that the 2019 Africa SDG Index and Dashboards Report will enlighten policy makers and the public on the progress so far towards the SDGs in Africa, and will serve as a catalyst to inspire increasing efforts by citizens, governments, businesses, academics, NGOs, and other partners within and beyond the continent to support the SDGs in Africa.
The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) has operated under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General since 2012 to mobilize scientific and technical expertise from academia, civil society, and the private sector to support practical problem solving for sustainable development at local, national, and global scales. SDSN operates national and regional networks of knowledge institutions, solution-focused thematic networks, and is building the SDG Academy, an online university for sustainable development.
About the SDG Center for Africa
The Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa (SDGC/A) is an autonomous non-for profit international organization. By agreeing to establish an African own technically trusted Center, African leaders want to ensure that they act together in pursuit of a shared African development vision. They also want to ensure that Africa will have its right position in the global forum with all the other actors responsible for the global conversation and actions related to the SDGs. SDGC/A is deeply committed to accelerating the implementation of the SDGs across the continent, including developing a new program to help governments build and strengthen capacity on data and statistical systems for reporting on the SDGs.