Cabo Verde has emerged as a Middle Income Country and has been very active in embracing the 2030 Agenda and mobilizing various stakeholders to take action for the early implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The unique development position of Cabo Verde and its great political will towards the new global development agenda are already showing results that inspire early SDG implementation in the Global South.
To support this local effort, the United Nations in Cabo Verde organized a series of meetings and events on 25-29 June that brought together the key government stakeholders, along with civil society organizations, the media and opinion makers. The Prime Minister of Cabo Verde, Mr. Ulisses Correia e Silva, chaired a full-day workshop on the SDGs with the UN Resident Coordinator, Mrs. Ulrika Richardson, counting on the participation of the Finance Minister, Mr. Olavo Avelino Garcia Correia; the Education, Family and Social Inclusion Minister, Mrs. Maritza Rosabal Peña; and other senior government officials. The meeting underscored the government’s commitments towards the SDGs, which were not undermined by the recent changes in the political leadership of Cabo Verde, representing a great inspiration to other democratic nations around the Global South.
This UN technical support to Cabo Verde is the result of a coordinated effort between the UN country team in Praia, the UNDP regional centre for Africa in Addis Ababa, the UNDP headquarters and the UNDP World Centre for Sustainable Development (RIO+ Centre). It is focused on the SDG implementation dynamics, with the objective of making sure that the 2030 Agenda is incorporated into the country’s planning and policy processes, delivering long-term, sustained changes towards sustainable development.
The decentralization challenge
Decentralization is a major issue related to the SDG implementation in Cabo Verde. The archipelago nation is composed of 10 islands and 8 islets, with great distances between them. While half of its population of half million people lives in Santiago Island, where the capital city of Praia is located, many people live in small villages and towns in various different islands. During the UN meeting with the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers, the focus was on the decentralization of the means of implementation to ensure effective implementation and shared ownership of the 2030 Agenda among different regions and different political players.
A successful decentralization strategy aiming at the implementation of the SDGs should comprise the following objetives:
- Ensuring capacity building of the different government levels, with a focus on the staff of municipalities and provincial governments;
- Supporting infrastructure development in regions that are normally excluded from central government’s priorities; and
- Sharing the political gains of the decentralization of the 2030 Agenda, allowing local and regional officials to understand that the new agenda can also be a powerful instrument to galvanize the support of local populations towards a progressive transformation of the development reality of cities and regions.
“The 2030 Agenda has an important relationship with the previous MDG Agenda, in the sense that it continues to put the fight against poverty first. But the new agenda puts it a more radical way, aiming at the eradication of extreme poverty. It is step forward in relation to the previous agenda. The 2030 Agenda will be efficient if it manages to capture the ongoing challenges of the society, responding to the society’s demands in a way that goes beyond changes in the political leadership”. Romulo Paes de Sousa, Director of the UNDP RIO+ Centre, at Cabo Verde SDG events in June 2016
In the media
Sapo Notícias, Agência Lusa: Agenda 2030 dá um passo adiante no combate à pobreza
Agência Cabo-verdiana de Notícias: Ulisses Correia e Silva considera que os ODS são uma nova visão de compromisso com a Nação