Agenda 2030 provides an unheralded opportunity to address the persistent challenges facing the world, including poverty, growing inequalities, and environmental degradation. Through it, world leaders have committed to addressing the economic, social and environmental issues standing in the way of sustainable development. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide an opportunity to build on positive national development and address fundamental challenges in comprehensive and systematic ways.
At the Policy Forum Breakfast Debate held on 23rd February 2018, Reynald Maeda from the United Nations Association of Tanzania made a presentation entitled “Sustainable Development Goals: Does the Government Spending Match Its Commitment?” where he elaborated that the Tanzanian government has made deliberate efforts to mainstream and integrate Sustainable Development Goals into the prevailing National medium-term development plan.
Maeda highlighted that the SDGs are in alignment with the second national development plan which is a series of the three Five Year Development Plans that will implement the Long-Term Perspective Plan 2011/12-2025/26. Its specific objectives are accelerating economic growth while making sure that quality of growth benefits the majority in the terms of poverty reduction and job creation which is the first SDGs goal.
Maeda further highlighted the SDGs are a broad agenda that reflects a global consensus of high aspirations based on fine political balance and that awareness is required at both national and subnational level.
Nevertheless, Stephen Chacha from African Philanthropic Foundation stressed that localisation process is to not only integrate the SDGs into the National Strategies but also incorporate them with the Local Government Development Plans. The localisation process must be participative and interactive in nature.
He continuously strained that the process should be done by engaging key development actors including CSOs, Philanthropic Organisations , Multi-national stakeholders and institutions.
Silas Olan’g of the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) based in Tanzania questioned the pace of the Sustainable Development Goals implementation as its adaptation lacks clear national targets up to date. He further stressed that implementing SDGs is the responsibility of everybody.
Olan’g also highlighted that, external actors can be very helpful in building the capacity of National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and other Government Institutions in monitoring SDGs. They should support NBS in identifying and addressing the needs and in disaggregating the data by region, gender and age to ensure that “nobody is left behind”.
However, Tanzania has been urged to entrench and integrate science, technology and innovation strategies in education, industrial, agricultural, trade and investment policies to enable attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the eradication of extreme poverty for all people by the year 2030.
In addition, external actors must work with local institutions and especially think tanks in identifying and financing research that can help the monitoring process and fill the gaps that cannot be addressed by the national monitoring and evaluation masterplan. This is especially important because of the interlinking nature of the SDG goals and targets. Tanzania must further reflect on how best to monitor such goals and targets.