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From October 30 to November 1 2019, Tracy Ledger and Thokozani Chilenga-Butao attended a workshop co-organised by UNDESA and AU/APRM in collaboration with UNDP, titled African regional workshop on effective governance for sustainable development: putting principles into practice.

The rational for the workshop and expected outcomes were as follows:

‘The joint UN-African Union workshop is specifically designed to support countries in assessment of gaps in the institutional application of each of the 11 principles of effective governance with a view to strengthening institutions for implementation of the SDGs at all levels. Government-led assessments initiated at the workshop may serve as a precursor to more specific in-depth reviews, as appropriate, and/or lead directly to formulation of Government-led reform policies in priority institution-building areas.

The workshop is also expected to foster policy coherence by encouraging alignment of institution building efforts related to the 2030 Agenda with the Agenda 2063 objectives of the African Union. As observed by CEPA, the African Union and other regional actors could be valuable partners in supporting related capacity development at the national and subnational levels, and in reviewing and monitoring the use of the principles by interested countries.

UN CEPA has further stressed that research by academic networks and others could focus on the application of the principles in various development contexts and that engaging tertiary and professional training institutes and communities could be helpful. Similarly, raising awareness of the principles through civic education in schools and other educational institutions could be considered. To promote such synergies, members of the African Research Universities Alliance and related networks will be encouraged to attend.

It is expected that the workshop will lead to:

  •  A common understanding of principles of effective governance for sustainable development,
    methods of analyzing gaps in their institutional application in Africa and strategies to address
  •  Enhanced collaboration among national, regional and global actors in building strong
    institutions for achievement of the SDGs and aspirations of the Agenda 2063, inter alia, through
    engagement of African Union organs in the application of the principles in African contexts;
  •  Sharing of knowledge on approaches to building strong institutions for achievement of the
    SDGs at all levels in different development contexts, as well as SDG monitoring and evaluation
    in Africa, through peer-to-peer learning, discussion of toolkits and lessons learned from the
    Voluntary National Reviews;
  •  Incorporation of issues related to the evaluation of institution-building for the SDGs in research
    agendas of African universities.