The Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor has delivered the keynote address at the opening session of the SDGs conference held in Kigali, Rwanda.
According to a dispatch, the conference which kicked off Wednesday, June 12 to Friday, June 14, 2019, brought together over 1,000 participants from across 40 countries, 35 of which came from across Africa.
The conference was organized by the SDGs Center for Africa, under the theme: “SDGs Implementation in Africa- Reflections on a three-year journey”.
The Liberian Vice President who deputized for President George M. Weah spoke on the Topic: “Why Africa needs new financing vehicles for Health, Education and Rainfed Agriculture”.
In her splendid presentation, Madam VP stressed the urgent need for political will by African leaders to harness the human and natural resources of Africa for the implementation of the SDGs.
She called for the building of strong democratic parliament, adherence to the Rule of Law, elimination of the culture of corruption and the involvement of all stakeholders as major steps which will guarantee African Nations ability to overcome the current national challenges.
We wholeheartedly welcome Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor’s call to African leaders to begin building democratic parliaments that will not be rubber-stamped so that the people’s voices can be heard through their representatives in parliaments. This is a patriotic call that African leaders must adhere to for the growth and development of our democracies as African people.
As the Liberian Vice President rightly said, African Nations and their leaders must begin creating new financing vehicles for the implementation of the SDGs if the internal mechanisms must be actualized. This also must include the restructuring of national budgets to reduce recurrent expenditure, straightening revenue administration, opening up the governance space and supporting inclusive social growth initiatives.
African leaders must now cultivate the political will so as to harness the human and natural resources of Africa for the implementation of the SDGs. For Africa to develop in this political dispensation, we must begin to create new avenues including the utilization of our resources to benefit Africans mostly the less fortunate citizens.
We believe that this can only be done if African leaders cultivate the political will to take their citizens out of poverty; the need of the people must be prioritized. It is a known secret that Africa is endowed with natural resources that if the political will is developed by our leaders, can benefit all Africans irrespective of their political, religious affiliations.
Again, we welcome the call by the Liberian Vice President to African leaders to begin building democratic parliaments that will not be rubber-stamped so that the people’s voices can be heard through their representatives in parliaments.