African Youth Action Forum for SDGs Report was organized by the African Development Forum (ADF), and was the first event of its kind. The first day, Monday, September 24, 2019, was held at the Global Knowledge Education Exchange Center (GKED), located in Seoul.
Different topics were covered the first day, including the president of the African Development Fund (ADF), his Excellency Boris Ondo, sharing his opening remarks, welcoming the participants, and highlighting some stimulating words that young Africans can emulate and learn from.
The third speaker was his Excellency Joe Lim. He explicitly elucidated the UN’s work since 1945. He highlighted that Human Rights, Peace and Security, and Development have been the core functions of the UN since its establishment. Furthermore, he clarified the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), launched in 2000 and ended in 2015.
Lim explained how enormous goals regarding MDGs were attained, even while plenty of others have failed. The reason for this fiasco was that the states alone were the ones who were implementing the goals. He brought attention to the fact that, there is a desperate need for collaboration among states and the Non-state parties for the 2015-2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General from 2001 also stated, “The 2030 Agenda can’t be achieved by governments alone.”
The other side of the coin was that plenty of states tend to talk about the issue but doing no action towards the solution. These deplorable issues have led to procrastination. Even so, Lim stressed that youth are at the center of changes, and their voices should be heard at any time.
The fourth speaker was his Excellency, Herbert, a PhD student. He covered the AU 2063 Agenda, extrapolating on how the agenda’s goals could be reached. Herbert specially mentioned that the 2063 AU Agenda should be a bottom-up process, in order to achieve more. He also emphasized that UN Sustainable Development Goals and the AU 2063 Agenda are harmonized, and thereforecompatible. Both are encouraging inclusivity between state, regional, and continental levels, and getting non-state parties to participate in this process in order to make a lucrative result.
Furthermore, he talked about some room for improvement by African countries. For instance, Asia’s inter-exchange trade rate is 65% – the highest in the world, while the European inter-exchange trade rate is 55%. Meanwhile, Africa’s inter-exchange trade rate is 18% – the lowest in the world. In this regard, there is a drastic need for integration within the African continent, such as the introduction of free-entry visas. Concurrently, there is also a desperate need for the spread of e-commerce in Africa. Also, an African Outer Space Strategy is very much needed. Additionally, he emphasized that there is a need for silencing the guns by 2020.
The last session of this day was a Tour Exhibition. Very professional, impeccable docents guided us around the museum honoring the history of Korea’s economic development, demonstrating how many ups and downs were witnessed as Korea’s economic miracle was achieved. In addition, we got some insight on how we can uplift and promote development.