The mobile app

Abimbola Akosile

Some members of the private sector on the continent have made a remarkable value-addition to the efforts and actions towards realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.

Marine Platforms, led by Mr. Taofik Adégbìtẹ́, and Africa Shapers Initiative, chaired by Mr. Lekan Fatodu, have developed and delivered the first mobile application on SDGs in Africa called ‘Africa on SDGs’, which according to the brains behind the app, was designed to help in accelerating the realisation of the SDGs in Africa.

Speaking on the significance of the digital tool, Fatodu, who is the project coordinator of Africa on SDGs said, “Importantly, it is fulfilling to emphasise that Africa on SDGs is the first mobile application from the continent on the SDGs and an outstanding device driven by the continent’s business community in support of the SDGs.

“It is an innovative intervention that seeks to help in accelerating the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals through facilitation of useful information on SDGs, assessment of progress, knowledge sharing, updates on global activities and accentuation of the endeavours of African corporate organisations and individuals on SDGs.

“This dynamic app is presented as a positive response to the important call of the UN to the global business community to be more engaged and proactive on the agenda of SDGs for the quick realisation of these goals. It’s actually meaningful to reiterate the critical roles the private sector has got to play in this laudable development agenda”, he added.

According to Fatodu, “The business people are the best wealth creators, innovators, funders, thinkers, employers, strategists and lots more; and that’s the reason the UN is focused on the business community to effectively fill the gap left by the last global development aspiration – the Millennium Development Goals

“Talking about the many strategic activities of the business community in elevating the development objectives and bringing it to life, it would be of great interest to many to know that the idea of the app was made possible through the special SDGs-CSR effort of a wholly Nigerian organisation, Marine Platforms and by all-Nigerian IT buffs that worked assiduously on the development of the app, which is a vital reference on the potential success of the Nigeria’s government Made-in-Nigeria policy.

“Of course there are international collaborations across the continent and at the level of the United Nations built towards the propagation of the app in many relevant circles for wider use,” the development advocate added.

To him, even with all its challenges, the world is widely adjudged a good place. However, its sustenance and betterment must be a responsibility to be shouldered by all and sundry.

It was in the quest of finding enduring solutions to the myriad problems faced by the world that the 194 member states of the United Nations (UN) along with global civil society rose to adopt a new agenda for global development famously known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs, containing 17 goals and 169 targets set for attainment by the year 2030 are ultimately seeking to end poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change around the globe.

Since the adoption of these lofty goals by the UN in September 2015, a number of governmental and non-governmental stakeholders around the world have stepped forward with interventions that are geared towards their achievement.

Although several Western countries and their notable citizens were the first to roll out tools and programmes for accentuation of the significance of the SDGs, the agenda of the Goals is attracting significant attention and worthy endorsements in Africa.

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda recently led the official launch of an SDGs hub named the Sustainable Development Goals Centre for Africa. The centre, which is chaired by Kagame and co-chaired by Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, is expected to provide technical support and expertise to national governments, private sector organisations and the civil society to deepen undertakings on the attainment of the goals.

The features-rich app has a video gallery that parades some of the most powerful private sector individuals and public influencers who provide useful perspectives on the SDGs.

Amongst these great Africans are Founder, Centre for Values in Leadership, Prof. Pat Utomi; former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia; CEO Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema; CEO, Marine Platforms Ltd, Mr. Taofik Adegbite; UN Ambassador for SDGs in Africa, Mr. Victor Ochen; ED, West Africa Civil Society Institute, Ms. Nana Asantewa Afadzinu; CEO, Sahara group, Mr. Tonye Cole, and Ooni of Ife, HRH Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi.