At the SDGs for Africa Investment Mobilization Summit (AIMS), SDG partners move to support the UN’s catalytic role in financing the SDGs and accelerating SDG action
Whereas the clarion call for the world’s SDGs is to “build forward better” – and get back on a trajectory towards the SDGs, governments and increasingly key financial players are calling for more ambitious action and more robust integration of Sustainable Development Goals. This year’s summit highlighted immense investment opportunities, calling for a profound and intentional commitment to building support for specific initiatives and investment vehicles that can drive increased UN action in helping countries finance their development.
Convened by a Joint United Nations team in Kenya comprising of the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office and the SDG Partnership Platform (SDGPP), the summit saw over 200 eminent stakeholders drawn from the Regional Member States, private sector partners, and Development Finance Institutions explore investment opportunities for SDGs that would impact the lives of Kenyans and African people. The private sector participants called for an accelerated enabling environment for investment to lower investment risks and increase SDG funding.
“Trends have shown a gradual shift in values toward more responsible private investment practices and, consequently, a slow reorientation to more private capital towards sustainable activities,” said the United Nations Resident Coordinator (Kenya), Dr Stephen Jackson, in his opening remarks “by pooling resources – public/private, domestic/international – we can scale up these shared value business models and harness the superpower of private capital to complement very constrained public funding to hit the SDGs by 2030.”
The SDG AIMS focused on building support for specific initiatives and investment vehicles that can drive increased UN action in helping countries finance their development.
Bottlenecks persist while a gap remains between vision and investor activism and robust investment pipelines, financial capitalisation, and execution capacity. Yet we also know that we have only just begun to connect country-level demand with innovative financing solutions.
The meeting saw a strong focus on private sector involvement in SDG financing. Giving his keynote address, Dr James Mwangi, Group CEO of Equity Bank Group, highlighted that Equity Group is transforming lives, giving dignity and expanding opportunities for wealth creation, and that it continues to play a leading role in contributing to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda on the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Equity has focused on growing its partnerships and championing collaborations with like-minded partners to further our purpose, which is to champion Africa's economic transformation. Our purpose is to transform lives, give dignity and expand opportunities for wealth creation, continues to play a leading role in contributing to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda on the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Despite efforts made by the government and UN partners, progress on achieving the SDG’s promise is slow- with private saving and investing still not channelled towards sustainable development at the scale and speed required.
To usher in a more sustainable, equitable and greener world, public and private capital must reach the people, geographies and economies that need it the most. The summit explored how the UN SDG Partnership Platform Kenya has supported a new national aggregation of financing associations to unlock a more significant quantum, diversity and quality of private capital for development in Kenya through different initiatives and partnerships.
Arif Neky, Senior Advisor UN Strategic Partnerships and National Coordinator, UN SDGPP Kenya appreciating the more significant deal by the governments to help citizens recover from the Covid-19 impact, called on stakeholders to continue rethinking national policies and recovery plans to ensure they both stimulate economies and accelerate the transitions required to achieve the SDGs.
The SDGPP is a flagship initiative under Kenya’s United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2018-2022, solidly anchoring it within Kenya’s development architecture and received 2018 global recognition from United Nations Development Coordination Office (UNDCO) and the Dag Hammarskjold Foundation as a pioneering practice to accelerate SDG financing. The SDGPP convenes, connects and catalyses SDG partnerships, financing, and innovations aligned with Government development priorities.
About UN Joint SDG Fund
The Joint Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Fund is an innovative instrument to incentivise the transformative policy shifts and stimulate the strategic investments required to get the world back on track to meet the SDGs. The UN Secretary-General sees the Joint SDG Fund as a key part of the reform of the UN’s development work by providing the “muscle” for a new generation of Resident Coordinators (RCs) and UN Country Teams (UNCTs) to accelerate SDG implementation. With sincere appreciation for the contributions from the European Union and Governments of Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Kingdom of Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and our private sector funding partners, this milestone marks a transformative movement towards achieving the SDGs by 2030.