By: Thandiwe Kubere
The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning issued a dissemination to bring into awareness the progress, challenges and the regressions of the Agenda 2063 during the ten year implementation period which was from 2013-2023. The meeting was to also give considerations for achieving the aspirations made of a better Africa in the course of the forty years left.
Giving the background, the Director- National Monitoring and Evaluation in the Ministry of Finance and Development planning, Ms Malefu Khanyapa stated that the Government of Lesotho through the Ministry of Finance and Development planning completed the evaluation of the first ten years implementation plan (FTYIP) of the Agenda. The FTYIP was the first plan towards implementation of the 50-year Vision of the African Union – “The Africa We Want” also known as Agenda 2063 which is being implemented.
Amongst others, the evaluation focused on; the assessment of the level of achievement on the targets set in the FTYIP at country, regional and continental level, the performance of the African Union (AU) organs, agencies and regional economic communities in coordinating, managing partnerships and mobilizing resources for Agenda 2063 FTYIP, the progress in the implementation of AU flagship projects, as well as propose areas of priority focus in the Second Ten Year Implementation Plan (STYIP) which will begin 2024-2033 based on the lessons learnt.
The 2063 dissemination was part of the African Union’s (AU) major purpose of unifying African Countries, improving their current economic state and ensuring that there is inclusive governance. Agenda 2063 is Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global driving force of the future.
Mrs. Khanyapa explained it is the continent’s strategic framework that aims to deliver on its goal for inclusive and sustainable development and is a concrete demonstration of the pan-African drive for unity, self-determination, freedom, progress and collective prosperity pursued under Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance. The origin of Agenda 2063 came after African leaders realized that there was a need to refocus and reprioritize Africa’s agenda from the struggle against apartheid and the attainment of political independence for the continent which had been the focus of the organization of African Unity (OAU), the precursor of the African Union. This was to instead prioritize inclusive social and economic development, continental and regional integration, democratic governance, peace and security amongst other issues aimed at repositioning Africa to becoming a dominant player in the global arena.
As an affirmation of their commitment to support Africa’s new path for attaining inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development, African heads of state and government signed the 50th Anniversary Solemn Declaration during the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the formation of the AU in May 2013. The declaration marked the re-dedication of Africa towards the attainment of the Pan African vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa which is driven by its own citizens and represents a dynamic force in the international arena.
Therefore, Agenda 2063 is a demonstration of how the continent intends to achieve this vision within a 50 year period from 2013 to 2063. Mrs. Khanyapa stated that the need to envision a long-term 50 year development trajectory for Africa was important as Africa needs to revise and adapt its development agenda due to ongoing structural transformations.
She further said the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) supported the ministry in its quest to undertake national consultations and evaluate the performance of Lesotho in the FTYIP. She said the purpose of the national consultation was to evaluate the extent to which different stakeholders implemented the plan and draw up the key lessons during the implementation period which can be used to inform the public about the STYIP. “The evaluation of the first decade of the Agenda 2063 adopted a people centered approach with state and non state actors at country level playing a big role. In this regard multi stakeholder’s consultations were held with participants from various ministries, the bureau of statistics, private sector and civil society organizations. She said the consultation served as a platform for collective reflection on the execution of the first decade of the Agenda.
In explaining the progress and where Lesotho stands in the entire process, the national monitoring and evaluation Chief Executive Planner, ‘Malineo Seboholi declared that agenda 2063 had seven aspirations and 20 goals set specifically to achieve those aspirations. The progress made on aspiration one, which was a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development, had the first goal of a high standard of living, quality life and the well-being of all the citizens.
The first priority area was about job incomes and decent work. The target which had been set for the first ten years was to increase the income per capita by at least 30% from 2030 and reduce unemployment rate by 25%. “When we look at the GDP per capita, which is the indicator that has been identified, we can see that for us as a country, our GDP per capita has declined from 2013 to 2022 and we had a target of 25% for reduced unemployed rate but we only managed to do 10%”, she said.
Another priority area was poverty reduction, inequalities, and hunger reduction. Poverty was said to have been reduced by 49.7 while the level of inequality moved from 38% to 40%. The prevalence of undernourishment also increased as per target.
Regarding issues of social security and the rights of people living with disability, the target of 30% which was set was not met. Another priority area was for modern and liveable habitats as well as basic quality services which has to do with access to electricity and improved sanitation facilities. “In terms of access to electricity, we have improved, 28% of households now have electricity meaning there is an increased to 37%. The population with access to internet has increased from 95% to 98% but those who actually use it have moved from 33% to 42%”, she said. There is great importance in the availability of safe drinking water, which has improved from 78% to 88%.
Another goal set was of a healthy and well nourished citizens with a priority area and target of access to sexual and reproductive services to women and girls. ” We have seen an increase of sexual and reproductive health services for women.
Another goal was for transformed economies- sustainable and inclusive economic growth. There was regression and basically no growth on the target for GDP growth, locally owned firms, informal sector graduating from small businesses into small formal enterprises since 2017 and it was said to be due to climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Some of the challenges which were mentioned were limited data and no evidence for some of the things implemented. On that, the UNDP assured to administer and consider developing integrated national monitoring and evaluation framework for all development and gender as part of the NSPD II extension. This will be done by incoperating the indicators from the national, reginal and global agendas to each data collection, facilitate harmonization of data reported and reduce the transectional costs for monitoring and evaluation of the reports. It has been noted that 2023 is a midterm for the agenda 2030 for a sustainable development which may necessitate updating indicators report. In completion, all stakeholders were encouraged to actively participate and note the emerging issues and the actions to contribute on realizing the aspirations of the Agenda 2063 in Lesotho, which is consistent with the national development priorities.