The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), The State Department for Planning and The National Treasury have partnered with the United Nations, led by the United Nations Resident Coordinator (UNCR), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); to host the “Accelerating the Private Sector Decade of Action, Delivery and Recovery Through Sustainable Development Goals in Kenya”.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is transformational and unifying, as it provides a blueprint and an action plan for a better world, as asserted by the Principal Secretary, Department of Planning and The National Treasury.
“Though the country has made commendable progress in some areas, the progress is uneven and overall, the country is not on track to deliver some of their sustainable development goals by 2030. The government is urging all sectors to dramatically increase their pace and scale up their implementation efforts. The government is committed to work with all stakeholders to scale innovation and action towards the implementation of the goals by the target date of 2030. We will focus on identifying and reporting on good practices, targeting investments that improve on the resilience of the people, to ensure no one is left behind,” noted Mr. Saitoti Torome – Principal Secretary- State Department of Planning.
Each year, Kenya requires massive investment for the implementation of SDGs that cover basic infrastructure like roads, rail and ports, power stations, water and sanitation as well as ensuring health, education, and food security through agriculture and rural development while addressing climate change issues. While such investment was conventionally a focus of the public domain, the private sector’s role in providing a boost in realizing the SDGs in Kenya has grown manifold. This is through innovation, investment, a mass customer base, a global labour force, resources, skills and knowledge among other areas.
Cognizant of this, the Government is striving for its increased commitment in the implementation, tracking and reporting and expects that the SDG engagement of companies will lead to greater social and environmental, as well as economic benefits for all.
“It is a fact that no single sector will be able to deliver on all SDGs alone. A collective effort is required in the effort of leaving no one behind. Through the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, the private sector has participated in SDG achievement especially in the preparation of the National Voluntary SDG Report,” argued Mrs. Katherine Muoki- Economic Planning Secretary-State Department for Planning.
Speaking during the launch, the Kenya Private Sector Alliance Chair, Ms. Florah Mutahi underpinned the sector’s strategic position in accelerating a decade of action and delivery for sustainable development goals and green recovery. She further noted that improving quality of monitoring and reporting on the progress made by private sector players in the implementation of the SDGs in Kenya was a precedence during the decade of action.
“Today, the private sector makes a commitment to accelerate action and delivery of SDGS and Green Recovery through accelerating transition to a green growth and circular economy pathway, leveraging digital disruption and innovation, ensuring policy coherence for competitiveness and ease of doing business, through supporting accountability and reporting of the 2030 agenda, increasing the awareness and capacity building of private sector, enhancing inclusiveness, improving private sector coordination and by strengthening multi-stakeholder partnerships.
“We will seek to have an annual National SDGs Business Forum to share progress and experiences of the private sector in Kenya on its contribution to the 2030 agenda,“ Ms. Mutahi committed.
During the launch, KEPSA affirmed private sectors commitment to accelerate and strengthen private sectors participation in integration, implementation and reporting of SDGs for “Building Back Better” through green business strategies and models. KEPSA also proposed to improve the quality of reporting for the Annual Progress Report and the 3rd Kenya Voluntary National Report as well as to promote coordination and structured engagement of Small and Medium Enterprises in the implementation of SDGs in Kenya.
“Companies are progressively mainstreaming SDGs in their business models and have begun to shift from business-as-usual by adopting circular models and participating in reporting using sustainability parameters and standards. As we reignite our dedication to building back better and transform our world, we look forward to enhanced collaboration and participation of especially SMES in the SDGs discourse,” stated Mr Jaswinder Bedi – KEPSA Vice Chair.
The year 2020 ushered in a decade of action for all major stakeholders including the private sector for setting ambitious actions to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Accelerated progress towards implementation of the 2030 Agenda is a global plan of action for planet, people, prosperity, peace and partnership for a better future for all.
“The UN in Kenya partnered with the government of Kenya and launched the SDG Partnership Platform at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2017. The SDG Partnership Platform has created windows around the big four agenda and has been unlocking partnerships, investments and financing in primary healthcare and food and nutrition, security manufacturing and skills, training and affordable housing,” said Mr Arif Neky, Senior Adviser – UN Strategic Partnerships.
According to Mr. Rogers Dhliwayo, Senior Economist at UNDP, the decade is also the blue print for sustainability and recovery from the negative direct and indirect impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to help prevent future pandemics and build a better future for all.
“To achieve the SDG implementation, we need a holistic financing framework which actually leverages all sources of finance including from the private sector. Covid-19 brought forward the importance of the SDGs, so we need to use them as a compass for recovery. I think the private sector has a huge role in this SDG decade of action, recovery and delivery,” he emphasized.
The virtual event brought together participants from different private sector entities, the government, County Governments SDGs Champions, UN agencies, Civil Society, Academia, and development partners to share progress and discuss a coordinated approach on the role of the private sector in accelerating a decade of action, recovery and delivery for SDGs.