At the heart of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 is a pan-African drive towards the achievement of inclusive and sustainable development in Africa.
Pan-Africanism is the belief that people of African origin living around the world have a great deal in common. For that reason, they should unite and work together to achieve their goals and interests. Generations of Pan-Africans including the Organization of African Unity (OAU) founders envisioned a united Africa.
They bequeathed present generations a continent with exemplary achievements in the fight against colonialism, apartheid, and slavery. Fast forward, the realization by the African Union (AU) that modern-day Africa mainly struggles with economic growth and development helped to refocus the fight.
African unity is just one of the aspirations in the AU’s road map for transforming Africa by 2063. Today, we take an in-depth look at what the Agenda entails including the progress achieved so far and associated challenges.
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What is the African Agenda 2063?
Dubbed “The Africa We Want,” Agenda 2063 is Africa’s master plan and blueprint for transforming the continent into a global powerhouse by the year 2063. It is a strategic framework, which African leaders believe will help to deliver on the continent’s goal for sustainable and inclusive development.
The Agenda is a solid expression of the collective prosperity, progress, freedom, self-determination, and unity pursued under African Renaissance and Pan-Africanism.
The Organization of African Unity (OAU), which was established in 1963, focused on three primary aims:
- Defense of the sovereignty of independent African states
- Fostering cooperation of African states
- Eradicating colonialism
But, the AU, which replaced OAU after its disbandment in 2002, recognized the need to refocus and reprioritize Africa’s agenda. It resolved to focus on inclusive economic and social development, peace and security, democratic governance, regional and continental integration, and other matters.
According to the AU, the realization of these priorities would reposition Africa and make it one of the dominant players in the global arena. Subsequently, African leaders adopted Agenda 2063 during the 2013 African Union Summit.
What are the Agenda 2063 Goals?
The goal of this master plan is to have well-nourished, healthy, and well-educated citizens. It also seeks to enhance the quality of life, the standard of living, and the well-being of citizens. The aim is to end poverty and hunger as well as foster liveable and affordable habitats.
The AU hopes to have a well-educated citizenry and revolutionize skills through innovation, science, and technology. It aims to transform economies by establishing modern agriculture, a blue economy, and world-class infrastructure.
In addition, it intends to empower and engage youths and children, and realize full gender equality. Another objective of the Agenda is to have functional continental monetary institutions and African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). Next, it aims to entrench democratic values, universal human rights principles, justice, and rule of law. Through the Agenda, the AU also hopes to establish transformative leadership and a peaceful and stable Africa.
AU leaders project a continent that finances its development goals and acts as a key partner in global affairs. These goals will reduce inequality among African countries, ensure equitable and inclusive quality education, and promote peaceful societies. Moreover, they will help to build resilient infrastructure, restore and secure natural resources, and promote sustainable economic growth.
Progress on Agenda 2063 Implementation
The AU developed the “First Ten-Year Implementation Plan,” which spans from 2014 to 2023. The 10-year plan aims to expedite the implementation of Agenda 2063 over a 50-year timeframe. African heads of state and governments endorsed the plan at the African Union Summit in June 2015.
Reporting on the execution of the Agenda is a necessity in facilitating mutual accountability and peer learning. This approach will help to achieve the continent’s developmental goals, in keeping with the Union’s results-based approach to development.
The First Ten-Year Implementation Plan lays out a set of goals, priority areas, and targets that the continent hopes to achieve at the national, regional, and continental levels. In this context, policy institutions of the African Union mandated the African Union Commission and the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD with coordinating and preparing biennial performance reports.
First Continental Report on Agenda 2063
The inaugural continental report compiled progress reports from 31 of the 55 African Union Member States. This translated to 56 percent of the continent and six Regional Economic Communities. The report compared the progress made on Agenda 2063 implementation to the objectives set for 2019.
The continent began executing its 50-year development plan by domesticating and incorporating it into regional and national development programs.
The report showed that the continent had achieved a combined score of 32% against the targets of 2019. On a national level, most Member States reported the presence of functional peace mechanisms. With a score of 44 percent, the aspiration of a united continent, politically unified, founded on Pan-Africanism had achieved rather good progress. This was attained, among other things, by Member States’ joint and determined efforts to operationalize the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
People-Driven Growth and Development
The objective of achieving an Africa whose growth is people-centered scored a comparatively high performance of 38%. African leaders credited this to the implementation of the African Charter on the Rights of the Youth provisions among other factors.
With a total score of 29 percent, the continent performed poorly under the objective of attaining a wealthy Africa based on equitable growth and sustainable development.
The continent had an excellent performance for the goal of realizing high living standards, well-being for all, and good quality of life. This was partly linked to the unprecedented growth in people with internet access.
East Africa, at the regional level, recorded an overall score of 40% against the 2019 targets. Comparatively, this region had the highest performance. West Africa’s overall performance was 34%. North Africa scored 27% overall. Both Southern and Central Africa obtained a combined score of 25%.
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Second Continental Report
The second continental report combined status reports from 38 of the 55 African Union member states. It examined how far Agenda 2063 had progressed against the goals set for 2021. Significant progress (84%) was witnessed in achieving a unified continent that is united politically and anchored on Pan-Africanism. Progress in the ratification of the AfCFTA in 2021, contributed to the high performance.
There was a tremendous development in this sector throughout the time under review, as indicated by advances in road networks, air transportation, electrification, and ICT. Progress was made in achieving a secure and peaceful Africa. In that regard, an overall performance of 63% was realized against the targets of 2021. However, performance varied across nations and parameters. Member countries reported that the number of deaths caused by armed conflict, religious and ethnic disagreements, and intolerance has decreased significantly.
Improved Continental Performance
In the pursuit of Africa as a strong influential partner, the continent achieved an overall commendable performance of 58%. However, Africa didn’t fulfill the 2021 target of raising overall tax collection. This target aims to ensure that Africa fully owns its development initiatives. Away from that, there was also notable progress regarding attaining an Africa whose growth is people-driven, with a 67% score.
During the review period, the continent saw a minor increase in the number of women in the agricultural population who own or have secure rights to agricultural land. During the review period, the continent saw a minor increase in the number of women in agriculture who own or have secure rights to agricultural land. Similarly, the continent had a slight increase in the number of seats held by women in national legislatures and regional and municipal organizations.
Shared Heritage and Values
In terms of having an Africa with shared values, common heritage, and a strong cultural identity, the continent had achieved 45%. This moderate progress was mainly due to the poor integration of indigenous African language, values, and culture into secondary and primary school curricula. Africa made little progress in achieving a thriving Africa founded on sustainable development and inclusive growth.
This area scored an overall score of 37% compared to the 2021 goals. Moreover, the report indicated that Africa had considerable progress in access to the internet and electricity. The overall score for the goal of achieving respect for human rights, democracy, good governance, and justice was 42%. This weak performance was attributed to poor rankings for competent institutions and reformed leadership across different levels.
Nonetheless, the performance of a majority of Member States was satisfactory. They reported on progress in promoting good governance, and democratization. Once again, East Africa emerged as the best performer with a 53% score against the 2021 objectives. Southern Africa followed it closely with 50% and West Africa got 45 percent. Central Africa and North Africa scored 42%, and 39% respectively.
The first and second biennial reports on Agenda 2063 implementation reveal the progress made so far. These reports show the overall continental performance against the set goals. Significant progress has been made across different sectors. Notably, Covid-19 effects posed a huge challenge to the overall progress and implementation of the Agenda. Nonetheless, the second biennial report shows a better performance compared to 2019. Going forward, more work needs to be done to accelerate progress and achieve the future target. Do you think the continent will achieve “The Africa We Want” by 2063? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.