In 2015, countries concluded a negotiating process that has spanned more than two years and featured the unprecedented participation of civil society. Governments agreed on the need for comprehensive financing for development, adopted a new sustainable development agenda and charted a universal and legally binding global agreement on climate change. All united behind an ambitious agenda that features 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets that aim to end poverty, combat inequalities and promote prosperity while protecting the environment by 2030.
However, these long awaited SDGs do not approach solutions from the African perspective: for instance, the agriculture sector is still mostly treated through the lens of hunger and malnutrition, rather than through agribusiness and job opportunities for the youth. To maximize the growth opportunities facing Africa today, both men and women in Africa need to be able to reach their full potential. We need to consider how we enable the story of African growth through its people. The vital role of women in developing our economies and African societies cannot be overlooked if we want to take advantage of the prospects facing us today.
To spur concrete commitments and position African women at the centre of the continental global agenda, Speak Up Africa launches Yena2030. The campaign will strive to constantly remind the world that it is not African women’s contributions and leadership that are central to finding a solution; they are the solution to the continent’s development.
Speak – Act – Rise
Women and girls make up more than half the world’s population – and they are on the frontlines – often more deeply impacted than men and boys by poverty, climate change, food insecurity, lack of healthcare, and global economic crises. This is why it is important for the continent to leverage all possible human energy – maximizing the growth opportunities that are presented through people – particularly, its women. Whether they are raising children, supporting families, running businesses, selling in markets, leading communities or promoting peace, women are critical catalysts for meaningful change for the African continent.
The campaign, through the new global 2030 roadmap and SDGs, will examine how women are pushing forward the 17 SDGs, and further reinforce how women and girls are key to achieving each of these goals. Yena2030 will showcase data, stories, videos and publications to stimulate debate and discussion among African populations, from policy-makers and private and public sector leaders to the most remote communities. For affirmative action strategies and SDGs to be effective, reach their objectives and have an impact on people’s lives, women themselves need to speak and voice their opinions around the appropriate mechanisms necessary to reach their full potential.
Educate – Advocate – Engage
Aiming to give a voice to African women and girls, Yena2030 will showcase extraordinary women and girls that are making a difference in their everyday lives and raise awareness of the SDG’s in Africa. By informing and engaging citizens, they will be empowered to “act on” and hold their governments accountable to their development commitments. Speak Up Africa will work with civil society organizations, NGO’s and media companies, including African Media Agency, as strategic and distribution partners in this campaign. Each of these partners will support Speak Up Africa with its strong networks, technical expertise and national knowledge. In addition to providing an outlet for African women and girl’s voices and ideas, Yena2030 will act as a powerful accountability mechanism for the African government SDG commitments.