AFRICA: with the exception of Egypt and Tunisia other countries will not achieve SDG6

Published on the sidelines of the 78th General Assembly of the United Nations, the latest report on sustainable development in Africa assesses the continent’s progress in implementing the five main Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It shows steady progress on the key targets of the SDGs, in particular on 4G mobile network coverage and access to drinking water and electricity.

Out of 48 countries assessed in Africa, only Egypt and Tunisia are on track to achieve the goal of universal basic sanitation by 2030. The 2023 report on sustainable development in Africa indicates that, with regard to the sixth sustainable development goal (SDG6), African countries have improved access to safe drinking water services, but there is still a significant disparity between rural and urban areas. Three out of five Africans, or 411 million people, still lack safe drinking water. The report calls on African countries to invest in water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure and to build capacity for integrated water resource management.

The 2023 report, entitled “Accelerating recovery from the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 at all levels”, was published on the sidelines of the 78th General Assembly of the United Nations. It was produced by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The document assesses Africa’s progress in implementing the five main SDGs, namely SDG 6 (drinking water and sanitation), SDG 7 (clean and affordable energy), SDG 9 (innovation, industry and infrastructure), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), and SDG 17 (partnerships). In addition to access to drinking water, the report notes steady progress on 4G mobile network coverage and access to electricity.

“Africa’s continued progress on the SDGs is commendable. It is encouraging to learn that the continent is on track to achieve some of the goals, particularly those related to innovation and technology, which are powerful catalysts for advancing sustainable development,” explains Ahunna Eziakonwa, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa.

The report notes that although Africa is making progress towards achieving the SDGs, the number of goals on track is lower than the number requiring acceleration or reversal. It calls for rapid interventions to accelerate countries’ progress on the key SDGs and the aspirations, goals and targets of the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063.


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