Private sector can solve global challenges

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe, says the private sector possesses the utility, power of innovation and the ability to create solutions to challenges facing the world today.

Speaking at the Responsible Business Forum on Sustainable Development held in Singapore on Tuesday, the Minister said the private sector shares many similar interests and goals as governments in terms of creating more resilient, prosperous and inclusive societies and markets.

He said business also need stable societies in order to thrive. “Accelerating inclusive growth to deliver on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) must be at the centre of all our deliberations and actions in Singapore [for the next two days],” said the Minister.

He said the plans and thoughts around the implementation of SDGs are critical and urgent.

In Africa, the dual commitment to the SDGs and to the implementation of the AU’s Agenda 2063 informs the vision and plan to build a more prosperous and sustainable Africa within the next 50 years.

“We must therefore push so much harder to ensure that we activate business to deliver accelerated impacts on the SDGs through areas such as breakthrough innovation, new business models and meaningful partnerships.

“However, we are truly up against a wall. We have less than 5 000 days to 2030 to meet and deliver on the SDGs, we need to mobilize businesses to scale up their impacts significantly.

“We need many more companies to accelerate their investments and business activities to deliver on the global goals. As governments we must commit to do the necessary, to provide the necessary regulatory environment and the requisite policy certainty required over this time.”

Minister Radebe said government needs to commit to the long term much more prodigiously and consciously.

He said public-private partnerships have the capacity to promote and spur innovation and leverage new technologies that can then be scaled up or replicated for wider impact.

By 2030, about 60% of Africans will be living in cities, with numbers as high as 80% in some countries.

This rapid urbanisation is an excellent opportunity for public-private partnerships to direct investment towards creating more sustainable cities, new employment opportunities through innovation, entrepreneurship, and improved health and sanitation systems.

“We have witnessed public-private partnerships have led to new transportation infrastructure in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Nigeria. This served to link millions of people in cities and providing cleaner and more energy-efficient means of transport.”

To date, approximately 64 countries have voluntarily reported on their implementation of the SDGs with about 43 of them sharing their national experiences at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York, in September 2017.

The Minister said it is about time that nobody gets left behind. -

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