By Ralph Simeon Sesay
Agenda 2063 is a plan developed by African leaders on the realization that there was a need to refocus and reprioritize Africa’s agenda from the struggle against Apartheid and the attainment of political independence for the continent, which had been the focus of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the precursor of the African Union.
Agenda 2063 is aimed at prioritizing inclusive social and economic development, continental and regional integration, democratic governance, peace and security, amongst other issues, with a view to repositioning Africa to become a dominant player in the global arena.
The Plan is Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming the continent into the global powerhouse of the future. It is a strategic framework, which aims to deliver on inclusive and sustainable development while at the same time serving as a concrete manifestation of the pan-African drive for unity, self-determination, freedom, progress and collective prosperity pursued under Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance.
African heads of states and Governments, in affirming their commitment to Africa’s new path, signed the 50th Anniversary Solemn Declaration during the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the formation of the OAU/AU in May 2013.
Heads of States and Governments, during the declaration marking the re-dedication of Africa towards the attainment of the Pan African Vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by their own citizens, representing a dynamic force in the international arena.
The Agenda 2063 is also a concrete manifestation of how the continent intends to achieve this vision within a 50 year period from 2013 to 2063.
The Africa of the future was captured in a letter presented by the former Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlaminin Zuma.
The Agenda is critical largely to the fact that Africa needs to revise and adapt its development agenda due to ongoing structural transformations, increased peace and reduction in the number of conflicts, renewed economic growth and social progress.
There is the need for people centered development, gender equality and youth empowerment, changing global contexts such as increased globalization and the ICT revolution. It is the aspiration of heads of states and governments that the increased unity of Africa makes it a global power to be reckoned with, and also capable of rallying support around its own common agenda. The emerging development and investment opportunities in areas such as agri-business, infrastructure development, health and education as well as the value addition in African commodities should be pursued for the good of its people.
Agenda 2063 encapsulates not only Africa’s aspirations for the future but also identifies key Flagship Programmes, which can boost Africa’s economic growth and development and lead to the rapid transformation of the continent. The Agenda also identifies key activities to be undertaken in its 10 year Implementation Plans, which will ensure that Agenda 2063 delivers both quantitative and qualitative Transformational Outcomes for Africa’s people.
The key priority areas that would guide the implementation of the plan include securing high standard of living, quality of life and wellbeing for its citizens. The plan will provide income, jobs and decent work.
Policies will developed that will address the issues of poverty, inequality, social protection and disability, the creation of modern, affordable habitats and quality basic services, education and science, technology and innovation (STI) driven skills revolution, health and nutrition as well as sustainable and inclusive economic growth, STI driven manufacturing, industrialization and value addition.
Agenda 2063 will also harness economic diversification and resilience, Agricultural productivity and production, marine resources energy and transport.
Attention will also be given to the development of frameworks and institutions for a United Africa with sound financial and monetary institutions, sustainable communications and infrastructure connectivity.
Key to the African shared values system will also be keen towards ensuring that Democracy , good governance Human rights, justice and the rule of law amongst others variables are maintained.
Sierra Leone a member of the African Union has also been aligning it developments plans with regional and sub regional plans like the African Union Agenda 2063 streamlines key development aspirations that will uplift its people from endemic poverty.
Issues such as education, economic diversification, sustainable and mechanized agriculture, accessible and affordable health systems, ICT and rural connectivity, using solar power energy has increasingly featured in most developments plans of member countries not excluding Sierra Leone.
President Julius Maada Bio, who came to power little above one year, has quite recently launched a National Transformation Development Plan, the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper Four (4), which is four in line of development agenda’s after the war. Sierra Leoneans have witnessed the Agenda for Poverty, Change and Prosperity with very little impact.
Sierra Leone’s Medium Term National Development Plan 2019-2023, like Agenda 2063 and other development plans, charts a clear path towards 2023 with the goal of achieving a middle income status by 2039 through an inclusive growth that is sustainable and leaves no Sierra Leonean behind.
For the next five years, education is the flagship programme of the government and it is geared towards providing a solid base not only to improve human capital development but also to facilitate economic transformation.
The plan, like the Agenda 2063, hover around four key pillars. That is a diversified, resilient green economy, a nation with educated, empowered and healthy citizenry capable of realizing their fullest potential, a society that is peaceful, secure and just and a competitive economy with a well-developed infrastructure.
On the whole most countries focused development plans have had a feel of the regional plans and their ultimate aim is to better the people of the continent and their respective countries.
Implementation has been identified as a huge problem and most times funding for these plans has been a serious challenge. Most times the implementations of such plans have relied on external support.