By Jafali Makwinja
Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe has said government is pursuing measures to reduce public debt in order to channel resources to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs). He said this on Wednesday when he launched the second Voluntary National Review (VNR) of the Sustainable Development Goals with a call to stakeholders to focus on SDGs that will help in laying solid foundations for achieving an inclusively wealthy and self-reliant industrialised nation
Gwengwe said Malawi should focus more on SDGs that will promote in the building of a strong and sustainable productive base to increase the country’s fiscal space and retire huge debt and managing environment given the recurring natural disasters due to climate change.
The launch was held under the theme: ‘Reviewing Malawi’s readiness to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030’
Gwengwe said he was pleased to note that despite the United Nations (UN) advising countries doing VNRs to largely focus on five SDGs, namely: SDGs 4, 5, 14, 15 and 17, Malawi Malawi has chosen to review all the SDGs in order to appreciate the level of progress and effort required to achieve each SDG as a country. The honourable minister said this as he launched the 2022 Voluntary National Review (VNR), saying the Implementation of the SDGs is being affected by a huge debt burden.
The UN Resident Coordinator Ad Interim Shigeki Komatsubara commended the Malawi Government for undertaking the second VNR process following the first VNR in 2020, stressing that this is a clear demonstration of the government’s commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and achievement of the SDGs.
Komatsubara said VNR is a main mechanism for tracking progress on the SDGs at the national level and reporting on them at the global level annually, specifically at the High-Level Political Forum under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council.
“It is, therefore, an important tool for accountability for the SDGs. Within this context, the VNR provides an important opportunity for Malawi to be answerable to its citizens in relation to the implementation of the SDGs, especially for members of the society who have limited space to participate in SDG accountability processes at national level,” he said.
This is a second Voluntary National Review (VNR) to be launched, a tool to track progress of how Malawi is implementing the SDGs. The VNR is in line with MW2063 agenda being championed by the National Planning Commission (NPC).