Lesotho is among 31 African countries to have shared their first national progress report on Agenda 2063’s first Ten-Year Implementation Plan. The first-ever continental report assesses progress made at the national, regional and continental levels towards achieving Africa’s developmental goals.
Informative Newspaper speaks to the Director of Development and Planning in the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, ‘Malefu Khanyapa who unpacks the Agenda 2063. Below is the excerpt from the interview.
Briefly expand on Agenda2063.
A63 is an African agenda whereby African member states sit together to decide the priorities suitable for their continent. It mainly addresses issues relevant to their people from different countries but as a collective while ensuring these African countries are at the same level of development. It also promotes competitiveness amongst the countries by setting priorities and targets to be achieved at a certain time.
Why should Basotho adopt Agenda 2063?
This agenda is actually relevant to us as Basotho. It addresses some of our challenges and priorities. The reason we must adopt it is that it guides us to develop our own national development agendas.
Which sectors are targeted by this agenda and which are those likely to benefit?
Much as the agenda is expected to be implemented by government, it is targeting everyone, the benefits are for the masses. The education sector, the employment sector and others.
Speaking of employment sector what benefit can we expect to see during implementation?
Once the agenda is adopted fully, implemented properly and the right strategies are put in place with adequate resources both financially, technically and with human resources, we shall see new jobs being created in the health sector, education sector, business sector. The NSDP2 that is currently running is in line with the A63 since it focuses on private sector led economic growth or job creation.
What are some of the low hanging private sector investment opportunities stemming from the A63?
We must firstly agree that the government’s role is to create an enabling sector for these goals to be easily implemented. A63 goals address infrastructure needs therefore it creates key construction opportunities could be roads or buildings. We talk of the creating Africa virtual university which is expected to be accessed remotely by any African child in the continent. This means private sector must prepare the communication sector by building fast affordable internet services and the technology sector should be ready to provide devices and gargets to be used. Tourism is one other sector expected to boom as a result of the above-mentioned sectors booming in the end formal and informal jobs will be created. Obviously the private sector is expected to thrive.
A review of the first ten years of implementation plan has just been done, how has the past government performed?
Our past government has tried; it has done a lot given the fact that most goals are capital projects. In recent years, the government has been constrained in terms of resources especially financial. The bigger budget of the funds goes to salaries. Progress has been little, however, government has shown commitment.
We are seeing a new government with an undeniably firm private sector background or backing. What needs to be done to see A63 prioritized and second ten-year implementation plan move faster?
Firstly, we plead with our leaders and politicians at large to lose their sense of individualism but rather put the country needs first. It is a good thing the new government has most people coming from the private sector and in A63 we are talking private sector led economic growth. We expect them to employ their experience and skill to ensure these goals in A63 are achievable. Government must work as a cooperate whereby it has values and strategies in place mainly to help make visible changes very soon.
In February 2023 this recently validated progress report will be tabled at the African Union assembly, has the new government been oriented on Agenda 2063 and its seriousness?
Not yet, as indicated, they are fairly new. Even the overall orientation by government has not been done by cabinet. However, they are aware of the NSDP2 of which is the national vehicle that also carries the A63 and all other development agendas that the country is committed to implementing. By first being acquainted with the NSDP they will understand how the country fits in the continental agenda implementation and the global ones.
Agenda 2063 priority goals are as follows:
- A high standard of living, quality of life and well-being for all
- Well educated citizens and skills revolution underpinned by science, technology and innovation
- Healthy and well-nourished citizens
- Transformed economies and job creation
- Modern agriculture for increased productivity
- Blue/ ocean economy for accelerated economic growth
- Environmentally sustainable climate resilient economies and communities
- United Africa (federal or confederate)
- Key continental financial and monetary institutions established and functional
- World class infrastructure criss-crosses Africa
- Democratic values, practices, universal principles of human rights, justice and the rule of law entrenched
- Capable institutions and transformed leadership in place at all levels
- Peace, security and stability are preserved
- A stable and peaceful Africa
- A fully functional and operational African peace and security architecture
- African cultural renaissance is pre-eminent
- Full gender equality in all spheres of life
- Engaged and empowered youth and children
- Africa as a major partner in global affairs and peaceful coexistence
- Africa takes full responsibility for financing her development