'It starts with where you are and with what you have' - Judyannet Muchiri, NAYD social media editor

Friday, 29 January 2016


SDGsACT is an acronym for Sustainable Development Goals Awareness Campaign Tour. SDGsACT is designed as a 17- month dissemination programme that will create awareness for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa. This will be done by taking meaningful, useful information on SDGs to all the strata and the spectrum of the society ; to educate people in Urban and  Rural communities on the activities of the SDGs, its importance, how they can be integrated and participate in the overall programmes of SDGs.
SDGsACT is also as a result of the United Nations 2030 agenda for sustainable development (SDGs) which will be effective for another 15 years.  SDGsAct will carry out its activities using all the available means of communications; personal contacts, seminars and meetings, social media engagements, both online and offline. This will also include publications and advertising on pages of magazines, dailies etc.
Recall that, United Nations launched what is called Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which was effective for 15 years (2000-2015) with 8 goals to be achieved.  MDGs were mentioned everywhere. Outside systems, they were discussed almost never and surveys had it that they were not widely known.
For many, who knew, disbelieved the accomplishments of these goals. The MDGs failure is given to the fact that everyone assumed it to be a primary responsibility of the UN. In attempt to correct the misconception, the SDGsAct aims at educating all, demystifying the importance of accepting these goals as the responsibility of all and not the UN, by involving the youths in Nigeria to take part in the great movement for change and development.
Being a non-profit, non-governmental and non- political initiative, SDGsAct aims at transmitting rich and informative values and targets of SDGs to all and sundry, executing projects according to the 17 SDGs and at large, engaging youths in African countries to follow suit.
In the word of Archbishop Desmond Tutu "Each one of us can make a contribution....., each one of us can do our little bit where we are. Those little bits can come together and almost overwhelm the world".
Our Vision: To help imprint SDGs into the heart of every Africans by the means of educating them; which will make them to discover the SDG(s) that suit their innate potentials for effective realization/support of  Vision 2030.


Wednesday, 27 January 2016


Overcome government failure. By “government failure,” I don’t mean that governments are evil or even that they are incompetent or ill-intentioned. Analogous to “market failure,” government failure refers to a situation where the particular incentives in government lead to a situation that is worse than what was intended with the intervention.
For instance, governments finance and provide primary education so that poor children can have access to learning. But if teachers are paid regardless of whether they show up for work, and politicians rely on teachers to run their political campaigns, the result is absentee teachers and poor children who don’t know how to read or write—precisely the opposite of what was intended. We see similar government failures in health care, water supply, sanitation, electricity, transport, labor markets and trade policy.
Why do I say the problem is government failure, and not, say, lack of education or health or infrastructure? We have known for some time that education, health and infrastructure are important for escaping poverty. The question is: why has there not been more education and health and infrastructure for poor people? The answer is not simply a lack of money. The problem is that much of the money spent on these sectors is captured by powerful elites before it reaches the poor. In Chad, this is literally the case: only one percent of the nonwage public spending on health actually reaches the clinics. In other cases, it’s more nuanced, such as the teacher (and doctor) absenteeism mentioned above, or when trucking monopolies keep transport prices so high that African exports are uncompetitive in world markets. In short, while education, health and infrastructure—among other things—are important, to get spending on these sectors to benefit the poor, we need to overcome government failure.
Overcoming government failure is difficult. These failures are the result of the interests of some powerful groups in society—including government officials and politicians—who will resist attempts at reform. What can be done? Pouring money into a leaky bucket will not solve the problem. And asking governments to reform—even if the request comes with the implicit threat of a cutoff in funds (sometimes referred to as “conditionality”)—is unlikely to work if the government itself is captured by the special interests. Perhaps the most productive action is to reach the people who are losing out—the poor—and empower them with information—about teacher and doctor absence rates, the incidence of energy and water subsidies, the costs of labor regulations and protective import tariffs—so that they can bring pressure to bear on politicians. Politicians can ignore technical advisers and external actors, but they can’t afford to ignore the citizens of their country.
To be sure, empowering poor people with information is not easy. First, many work 15-hour days just to make ends meet. Expecting them to attend village meetings or read the newspaper or listen to the radio is not straightforward.
Secondly, information by itself may not be enough to empower poor people. They need mechanisms to hold politicians accountable. And third, governments may not welcome these efforts at making evidence available to the public; some will consider it incendiary, and attempt to block it.
But if we agree that overcoming government failures is key to ending poverty in Africa, we need to promote poor people’s access to information. Today’s technology helps. The fact that one in two Africans has access to a cellphone has made it easier to reach them—and for them to reach politicians. In a sense, then, Jim’s social media campaign—and other open knowledge initiatives—are more than just ways of eliciting ideas about ending poverty: they are potential instruments to end poverty.
SDGsACT Lagos Coordinator

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals in rural Africa

The UN recognise that one of the biggest challenges to the success of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be bringing them to rural communities in Africa.  Extreme poverty, inadequate health systems, food scarcity, limited access to water and electricity, poor education and gender equality are just some of the factors that combine to create a system of despair. How do you bring sustainable development to such an environment? Leading African youth development activists believe one way forward is to co-ordinate and collaborate the efforts of as many youth-led SDG empowerment efforts in Africa as possible right at the start of the 15 year period - the resulting synergy will encourage more effective progress. Such an initiative was started in early January and currently 41 country focussed teams are being created. Youth in continental Africa are meeting the challenge of Goal 17 - ' Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development' by building a cross-continental network linked to global youth networkls. The following Vision, Mission and Key Objectives have been developed.

Our Vision is to see African rural communities achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Our mission is to empower African rural communities with the UN Sustainable Development Goals through youth-led co-ordinated and collaborative information, implementation, monitoring, lobbying and advocacy campaigns.

Our main objectives are:
To develop information, implementation, monitoring, lobbying and advocacy plans
To develop transparent financial management systems
To build and maintain a structured, gender balanced, committed, country focussed team
To develop reporting and communication systems with relevant stakeholders 

Many challenges lie ahead, but if we all believe in the bigger picture, this initiative will succeed simply because we have each others hands to hold to help us face these challenges together. 

Thank you

Paul Shaw
#NAYDSDGs steering group lead

If you would like to offer to co-ordinate one of the 11 countries still unrepresented (Angola, Chad, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, South Sudan, Swaziland), please email help@nayd.org

Saturday, 23 January 2016


My  name is Wilhelmina Tameca Gaoses from Namibia.  Representing Namibia on the SDGs journey of attainment.  Seeing myself as a agent of change.  I would like to use my role to create a hub of youth leaders in Namibia and Africa to use actions and create platforms of dialogues with country leaders.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016


The African private sector has a clear and crucial role to play in supporting the push to mainstream the recently announced SDGs, turning them from an inspirational
wish list to an inclusive and transformative approach to economic development.  After all, many of the SDG targets speak directly to challenges faced across the continent, from achieving food security to ensuring access to energy and building resilient infrastructure.
We have already seen a shift in attitudes to ‘corporate social responsibility’ from many of Africa’s business leaders. Rather than seeing it as just a box-ticking exercise, many now understand that long-term success means committing to a broad-based approach to socio-economic development, one which includes job creation, skills development, gender equity and a positive environmental impact. Moreover, there is an increasing determination that Africa should take control of its own development agenda, with its private-sector leaders committed to seizing the narrative back from Western governments, donors and NGOs. Aliko Dangote, Bob Collymore, Strive Masiyiwa and Mo Ibrahim, among many others, have all been vocal in championing causes that are captured in the SDGs, including governance, energy access and entrepreneurship.
Yet Africa’s private sector isn’t limited to the big hitters – the continent’s numerous SMEs and entrepreneurs  are also fundamental to delivering transformational change. Such smaller businesses are vital to creating opportunities by creating jobs, finding innovative solutions to old challenges, and building strong value chains.
For African businesses, then, the SDGs potentially provide an opportunity to demonstrate their ownership of Africa’s growth and development story. This approach, which Tony Elumelu terms ‘Africapitalism’, entails a commitment to long-term investments on the continent, which will create both economic prosperity and social wealth. Africa’s economic development, as driven by its own private sector, should bring with it success in many of the areas flagged by the SDGs. However, given the scale and breadth of the SDG targets, how best to integrate them into a business strategy and, subsequently, track their successful implementation?
One potential answer lies in the UN Global Compact’s recently launched SDG Compass, an online tool for businesses to use to ensure that their strategies are in alignment with the SDGs, while also providing guidance on indicators to measure and tools to assess progress. For example, in order to support the indicators on ‘promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth’, the SDG Compass advises companies to include policies on promoting economic inclusion when selecting suppliers, to provide training to workers, and to adopt fair and transparent governance standards. It also provides a repository of the various tools and guidelines already available to establish best practice in various fields: from the Global Reporting Initiative’s Water Performance Indicators to Transparency International’s Anti-Bribery Checklist. A great deal of work has already been put into making it easier for companies to measure and report their contributions.
Yet, with 169 targets to track, many of which have multiple applications (the SDG Compass suggests 45 different indicators, for example, just for target 1.4 on ensuring equal rights to economic resources), it is difficult to envisage any but the largest corporates successfully verifying their compliance in every respect.
It is in this way that the leadership already shown by some of the aforementioned African philanthropists and executives can serve as a template. It is clear that focusing on certain priority objectives can have an exponential effect on development across Africa. Extending access to energy (SDG 7), for example, as many African companies are doing, will have a knock-on effect on numerous other targets: enabling school children to study in the evenings, hospitals to store vital medicines and run essential equipment, and small businesses to scale up their operations. Similarly, prioritizing agricultural development, building safer cities and conserving the environment will all pay dividends in multiple respects.

Of course, not every African business is in a position to drive change in these big-ticket areas. However, the SDGs also provide an opportunity for Africa’s SMEs and entrepreneurs to commit to a range of initiatives which will deliver transformational change and development in their markets. As an African businessman, I myself am committed to ensuring that my company, africapractice, plays it part in meeting these ambitious targets, through our work supporting the continent’s most progressive leaders and companies, those who are engaged in building a more prosperous Africa.  Whether it is promoting gender equality in the workplace,  upgrading infrastructure or reducing waste, all African businesses should be proud to state publicly what they are doing to support the SDGs.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

The Start of the SDG Journey.

At the first meeting with leading African youth development activists on Saturday 2nd Jan 2016 to discuss the way forward to empower African communities with the #SDGs, it was agreed that NAYD should try to develop country specific youth-led SDG teams to encompass members from all the different youth-led SDG initiatives. To date 28 co-ordinators have agreed to progress this initiative and teams are currently being formed. The overall purpose of this initiative is to co-ordinate and collaborate the efforts of as many youth-led SDG empowerment and implementation efforts in Africa as possible right at the start of the 15 year period. This will hopefully lead to quicker and more effective progress.

This initiative ties in with Goal 17 - ' Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development'. The countries so far developing their teams are Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia/Somaliland, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe. If you wish to be considered for any of these teams please send a brief CV to me asap. If your country is not currently represented on this list but you are aware of youth-led SDG initiatives in that country kindly let me have contact details of those leading the initiative.

The next meeting is planned the first Saturday in February at 11am GMT. We hope by then that as many African countries as possible will have formed strong, committed, united youth-led SDG teams.