October 23, 2017
From left, SDGs Center for Africa Director General Belay Begashw and JICA President Shinichi Kitaoka
On October 23, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and The Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa (SDGC/A) signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC). The MOC was signed by Shinichi Kitaoka, president of JICA, and Belay Begashaw, director general of the SDGC/A, at the JICA headquarters in Tokyo.
The MoC is a framework for cooperation and will facilitate collaboration between JICA and the SDGC/A to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were adopted by the United Nations in September 2015, in Africa through the promotion of innovation and knowledge co-creation partnering with private companies, academia and civil society.
The SDGC/A is an autonomous non-profit international organization established in September 2015 in Kigali, the capital city of the Republic of Rwanda, by resolution of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN),* which was commissioned under the auspices of Ban Ki-moon, then secretary-general of the United Nations. Objectives of the SDGC/A include promoting practical solutions for preparing and implementing SDG-related projects, and mobilizing global scientific and technological expertise to work on such efforts.
With the intention of working with its domestic and foreign partners in contributing to the achievement of the SDGs, JICA signed the MoC with the SDGC/A to promote cooperation in achieving, in particular, SDG Goal 2 (Zero Hunger), Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-Being) and Goal 4 (Quality Education for All). Through the MoC, JICA will also focus on cooperation in gathering and analyzing indices to monitor and evaluate progress toward SDGs achievement in Africa.
As a development cooperation agency, JICA has established a record of furthering initiatives that include the promotion of rice production with the aim of producing enough rice for approximately 200 million people, or 20 percent of the population of sub-Saharan Africa, and the improvement of the health of mothers and children through the Mother and Child Health Handbook, which has been distributed to more than 25 countries around the world including 12 in Africa. Other examples of initiatives include the improvement of the educational environment for children through School for All projects, which has spread to 40,000 schools in sub-Saharan Africa, and the enhancement of higher education through cooperation with the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya to develop human resources capable of addressing social development. Through its partnership with the SDGC/A, JICA will further spread the knowledge and technology acquired through such cooperation to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs in every country in Africa.
* The Sustainable Development Solutions Network is building a network primarily with universities and research institutions at the national and regional level with the objectives of promoting practical solutions for preparing and implementing SDG-related projects, and mobilizing global scientific and technological expertise to work on those efforts. The director is Jeffrey Sachs (professor at Columbia University), and the organization has offices in New York and Paris.