Mrs Ngone Diop, Director, Economic Commission for Africa Sub-Regional Office for West Africa (ECA SRO-WA) has said the sub-region is poised to lead the charge towards assisting member countries to accelerate strategies for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

She said she would implement people-centred, inclusive national strategies and strengthen mechanisms for the mobilisation of resources for the people’s welfare.

Mrs Diop was speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview on the sideline of the Sixth Session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD-6) in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Key on the five-day agenda is the Special Session of the Regional Coordination Mechanism for Africa (RCM-Africa), an African Youth Engagement Forum.

The main objective of the special session of the RCM is to deliberate on the theme “Leveraging the Decade of action for the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2063 in Africa: The role of the United Nations System and the African Union organs and agencies”.

Mrs Diop said she was optimistic due to the manpower strength, business environment and dynamism of its growing youth to be harnessed as game changer to pull the SRO towards development.

She said over the last two years, the continent recorded the 10 fastest growing economies, majority of them in the SRO and continue to dominate in that rating, which was an admittance that there were opportunities for development if other externalities were mitigated.

She said conflicts across the SRO including those of Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger posed danger to the economic gains and highly negatively affect the SDGs.

The Director said evidence show the SRO attained only 35 percent growth in the SDGs across board, ‘we need to go faster’.

“Unless we are together, it is almost impossible to achieve growth and development,” adding we need to explore new approaches, make it fit for purpose and ensure economic transformation.

The Director, barely two weeks on her new appointment, said ECA SRO and partners would help to scale up the development of the capacities of member States for the implementation of the SDGs in relation to Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063.

She said in view of the decade of action, the SRO would implement the UN and AU regional strategy through targeted interventions in transformational areas including climate action, youth education entrepreneurship, women empowerment and innovation as well as stakeholder engagements.

Mrs Diop said across the spectrum and ecosystems “We are poised to succeed”.

She said her outfit was ready to work with major actors especially governments of the SRO for accelerating key demographic dividends, which was crucial for peace and inclusive growth.

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