UNDP: IN Africa, Meeting the Aspirations of Citizens Critical to Achieving Development Goals

Accra, 12 Nov – The head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Achim Steiner, called for stronger partnerships between governments in Africa and the United Nations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

“The next generation of development work must be linked to how citizens want to shape their lives, and the UN must build trust with governments, development partners and all stakeholders,” UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said.  “Only through becoming relevant to the aspirations and needs of citizens will we get to our collective goal of an Africa beyond aid.”

Steiner was speaking in Ghana to over 200 new UNDP senior leaders for Africa at their annual regional meeting at a session entitled: “Africa’s Money for African Development: A Future beyond Aid”.  The regional meeting was exploring new ways of using Africa’s resources to achieve sustainable development.

During his visit to Ghana, Steiner also met with Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, and congratulated Ghana for winning its bid to host the Secretariat of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area.  He also expressed UNDP’s commitment and support to the strategic development priorities of Ghana and of Africa.

Mr. Steiner also met with leading African entrepreneurs using their businesses to drive development. While noting progress over the past 50 years, he called for more youth-focused initiatives to give young people more opportunities to achieve their aspirations on the continent.

While meeting with UNDP staff in the country office, Steiner offered a tribute to the late Ghanaian Kofi Annan, saying, “You are the living expression of Kofi Annan’s legacy and his optimism. The world needs the United Nations more than ever, and the world needs all of you. Colleagues, this is our time and generation. The UN is the ultimate expression of optimism.  Never give up”.