Namibia stagnates on several SDGs

29 July 2020 | Africa

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



Namibia has been ranked 119th among 166 countries in achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

This is according to the 2020 Sustainable Development Report.

The report ranks countries' overall progress in achieving the SDGs, which cover a range of economic, social and environmental challenges, many of which it says will be crucial considerations for the world to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Namibia's SDG index score is 61.6, while the regional average is 53.1, the report said.



Best and worst

Sweden was ranked in first place, followed by Denmark and Finland in the rating that was prepared by teams of independent experts at the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and the Bertelsmann Stiftung.

The Central African Republic, South Sudan and Chad scored near the bottom.

The score signifies a country's position between the worst (zero) and the best (100) of the target outcomes. For example, Sweden's overall index score of 85 suggests that the country is on average 85% of the way to the best possible outcome across the 17 SDGs.

The SGDs, agreed to by all countries in 2015, encompass a set of 17 goals and 169 targets to be met by 2030. Among the central aims are economic prosperity, social inclusion and environmental sustainability. “They are arguably even more important than before in considering how best to shape the post-pandemic world,” the report said.



Improvement

According to the report, the average SDG index score for countries in sub-Saharan Africa has improved significantly since 2015.

“Yet, all sub-Saharan African countries continue to face major challenges in achieving the SDGs, and the coronavirus threatens to undo much of the progress made in recent years. “Owing to the poverty in the region, performance on socio-economic goals and access to basic services and infrastructure are poor compared to other world regions.” Namibia improved on four of the 17 SDGs since last year, which are quality education, gender equality, life on land and partnerships for the goals. It moderately improved on five goals, which included good health well-being, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, climate action and life below water.

It has, however, stagnated on six goals, which include no poverty, zero hunger, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities and peace, justice and strong institutions.

Information on the goals of reduced inequalities and responsible consumption and production was not available for Namibia.

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