In furtherance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), seeking to promote economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection, governments in Africa must ensure that engaging the continent’s rapidly growing youth population through jobs and other opportunities remains its central priority, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Monday at the virtual launch of the United Nations Global Compact Africa Strategy – an initiative of the United Nations to galvanize private sector participation in the actualization of the SDGs.
In a statement by his media aide, Laolu Akande, he added that Africa’s private sector must also scale up its contribution to the continent’s economic and social transformation.
The UN Global Compact Strategy is regarded as the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, and its new Africa Strategy is designed to promote corporate sustainability and expand responsible business practices across the continent in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
According to the UN, with 1.3 billion people and a combined GDP of $3.5 trillion, Africa is the world’s fastest growing market and its companies are well positioned to play a critical role in the business sustainability movement.
“The Decade of Action for the SDGs is a historic opportunity to realize our vision for a more resilient, inclusive, and prosperous Africa,” noted the Vice President yesterday.
Osinbajo said, “Making our aspirations a reality, however, will require an unprecedented degree of cooperation and collective action across all actors of society – Governments, civil society, and of course, the private sector.
“Now is the time for the African private sector to scale up its contribution to the continent’s economic and social transformation. As the African Continental Free Trade Agreement enters into force, African businesses have a historic opportunity to embrace sustainability and be part of the collective effort to build a more sustainable and inclusive future.
“At the same time, sustainable business models and investments, guided by the SDGs, will unlock an estimated US$1 trillion for responsible businesses in Africa by 2030.”