Lagos State Government has launched its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Youth Alliance, aimed at creating an effective platform for partnership with youths in achieving the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda.
At the launch of the programme on Friday, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said the Alliance will enable the State Government accelerate actions towards meeting key deliverables in the global goals.
The initiative is the first ever government-initiated but youth-led partnership, for the coordination of SDGs actions in communities, and also creates the conditions for active engagement.
The launch was greeted with all-round acceptance from youths championing interventions across the 17 SDGs, as key advocates swamped the State House in Alausa, Ikeja, to witness the launch of the initiative.
About 9,000 youths leading interventions across the SDGs in Lagos have signed up to be part of the alliance, with frontline Nollywood star, Jim Iyke, musician, Florence Otedola (DJ Cuppy), and Yoruba film actress, Jumoke Odetola, headlining the event.
Sanwo-Olu told the youths that the future is here, as the partnership would afford them to lead the interventions across the SDGs deliverables.
He said: “What we are about is to see how we can bring SDGs champions and society influencers in our various communities together on the platform for measurable impacts. We strongly believe the government cannot do it by itself. We don’t have the reach and connection which you advocates have.
“When we took the decision to set up this alliance, we wanted to create a partnership through which we can have real conversations and engagement that can improve lives. The future is here and our young people have been given the seat to lead interventions across the SDGs, while the government plays a supportive role. We want to see how we can turn efforts from this initiative into greater impact in multiple folds.”
Promising to address key challenges slowing down the attainment of SGDs in the state, Sanwo-Olu noted that the initiative would be a success story only if it directly touched the lives of the vulnerable people.
He said: “The objective around the alliance is to use the SDGs as a springboard for real development. There is no way we can talk about the future if young people are not in the conversation. I thank the youth advocates and various influencers for accepting to work with us on this alliance. By working with the government, the interventions can reach a lot of people quicker and faster.”
Special Adviser to the Governor on SDGs and Investment, Solape Hammond, said the Alliance is in recognition that the youth demographic represented a potent force to drive positive impacts.
She said the Sanwo-Olu-led administration embodied progressive collaboration and engagement, and expressed the hope that the Alliance would achieve its objectives.
Similarly, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on SDGs, Lekan Fatodu, said the governor’s commitment towards the success of the alliance was manifested in his physical attendance of the event.
The objective around the alliance is to use the SDGs as a springboard for real development. There is no way we can talk about the future if young people are not in the conversation.
2030 Agenda and youth development
According to the UN, at the heart of the 2030 Agenda are five critical dimensions: people, prosperity, planet, partnership and peace, also known as the 5Ps.
Parts of the resolution is that between now and 2030, to end poverty and hunger everywhere; combat inequalities within and among countries; build peaceful, just and inclusive societies; protect human rights and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; and to ensure the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources.
Also to create conditions for sustainable, inclusive and sustained economic growth, shared prosperity and decent work for all, taking into account different levels of national development and capacities.
To underscore the role of the youths in the SDGs and Agenda, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), prepared the World Youth Report on: “Youth and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” by examines the mutually supportive roles of the new agenda and current youth development efforts.
The report provides insight into the role of young people in sustainable development in the context of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and related frameworks, specifically the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development and the World Programme of Action for Youth.
The Report considers the role the 2030 Agenda can play in enhancing youth development efforts and examines how evidence-based youth policies can help accelerate youth-related objectives. It explores the critical role young people have in the implementation of sustainable development efforts at all levels.
The active engagement of youth in sustainable development efforts is central to achieving sustainable, inclusive and stable societies by the target date, and to averting the worst threats and challenges to sustainable development, including the impacts of climate change, unemployment, poverty, gender inequality, conflict, and migration.
While all the SDGs are critical to youth development, this Report focuses primarily on the areas of education and employment, underlining the realization of targets under these Goals as fundamental to overall youth development.