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The West African Think Tank Network (WATTNet) held its first conference on 1-2 March 2016 on the overarching theme Transforming West Africa for Inclusive Development. The conference brought together policy makers, think tank leaders, academia and business leaders to deliberate on the key policy issues confronting West African countries, so as to build consensus on the way forward.
John Asafu-Adjaye, Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Ghana; Debapriya Bhattacharya – Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Bangladesh; Ibrahima Hathie, IPAR, Senegal, and Andrew Godwin Onokerhoraye, Centre for Population and Environmental Development (CPED), Nigeria were among the members from Southern Voice to contribute to the discussions on SDGs.
This publication contains the three papers emerging from the inaugural conference, which were authored by Southern Voice’s network members Debapriya Bhattacharya – CPD; John Asafu-Adjaye – IEA; and Chukwuka Onyekwena and Tirimisiyu F. Oloko, Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA).
Achieving SDGs in West Africa: Implementation, Monitoring and Data-Related Issues
At the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on 25 September 2015, member states \ adopted Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UN, 2015b). The agenda’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets officially came into effect on 1 January 2016 and will guide countries’ development policies over the next 15 years through 2030. On 15 January, a report of the UN secretary-general provided details on the follow-up and review framework for implementation of the SDGs, with the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) at its core (see UN General Assembly, 2016).
The UN Statistical Commission then agreed to a set of 230 global indicators on 11 March (UN, 2016). These indicators were developed by the Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators during a nine-month negotiation process. It is now time to look at country-level implementation and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda and various datarelated issues. This paper examines the challenges faced by countries in West Africa and makes recommendations on suitable policy actions going forward.