Young African leaders were in New York City on Saturday to promote the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, promoting the SDGs at their midpoint on the way to 2030 and ahead of this week’s SDG summit, an event held along with the annual UN General Assembly.
Members of the African Leadership Factory Initative (ALFI), led by Senegal’s Babacar Diop, a special advisor on youth policy and ALFI chairman, had a chance to meet with global delegates and hear UN Secretary General António Guterres speak on the importance of SDGs. Achieving the goals is not a simple matter of checking off boxes, Guterres said.
“They are about the hopes, dreams, rights and expectations of people and the health of our natural environment. They are about righting historic wrongs, healing global divisions and putting our world on a path to lasting peace,” he said.
“I urge you to keep going,” he added. “The SDGs will not be rescued in New York. They will be rescued in your communities. So continue listening to the people in your communities and embedding their needs and concerns across your policies and investments.”
ALFI was launched in Senegal in 2018 as a pan-African youth leadership organization. Activists between the ages of 14 and 30 primarily come from Senegal, Mauritania, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and other West African countries, though other nations are represented. They include Mariame Doup of Senegal, a recent graduate and the youngest on the team.
The SDG Summit will be held on Monday and Tuesday, with high-level UNGA meetings throughout the week.