Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Series: Goal 12



Goal Twelve: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns


SDG Twelve calls upon everyone from individuals to large international corporations to make more responsible decisions about their consumption and production to align both with a pattern of sustainability. Target 12.3 is of particular interest as it focuses on the reduction of food waste and loss, which currently sits at about 1.3 billion tons of food per year. Food waste tends to be higher in developed countries, however post-harvest food loss persists as an issue in developing countries, such as those in Sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, to decrease loss policies will need to focus on the post-harvest value chain of agricultural products to determine where improvements can be made.


A second target of interest is target 12.8, which calls for the dissemination of information on sustainable development so that all individuals can be informed on how their lifestyles can be in harmony with the environment. This is really the key to the entire agenda of the SDGs, since the more people who understand this, the more people will be willing to not only comply, but help with their implementation. This is something already in progress in Africa, many countries in the region have made progress in establishing initiatives and programmes, as well as formulating and adopting policies, strategies and legislation to foster sustainable development. These include laws and policies in the broad area of environmental management as well as in sectoral areas such as mining, energy, agriculture and health. Many African countries have also ratified major chemicals and wastes related conventions as well as other MEAs (Multilateral Environment Agreements). In the mining sector, African countries have increasingly signed up to global voluntary initiatives.  Beyond adding the concept of sustainable development in mining, health ,agriculture etc, The African 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10-YFP) has been launched. The 10-YFP has a strategic focus on linking SCP with the challenges of meeting basic needs in a more sustainable manner.


Proposed Targets:

12.1 Implement the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, all countries taking action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries

12.2 By 2030, achieve sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources

12.3 By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses

12.4 By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to the air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment

12.5 By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse

12.6 Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle

12.7 Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities

12.8 By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature

12.a Support developing countries to strengthen their scientific and technological capacity to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production

12.b Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products

12.c Rationalize inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption by removing market distortions, in accordance with national circumstances, including by restructuring taxation and phasing out those harmful subsidies, where they exist, to reflect their environmental impacts, taking fully into account the specific needs and conditions of developing countries and minimizing the possible adverse impacts on their development in a manner that protects the poor and the affected communities

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Series: Goal 11

Goal 11


Goal Eleven: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable


SDG Eleven accounts for the increasing size of the global urban population with an emphasis on sustainability in cities, but maintains breadth by also recognizing the importance of human settlements in general. According to the World Bank, 37% of people in Sub-Saharan Africa live in urban areas and this number is only growing.


One of the more interesting targets included in this goal is 11.7, calling for universal access to green public spaces for the population. This is a less conventional concept to include than say, target 11.1 calling for access to housing for all, which makes its potential implementation interesting for a continent such as Africa. There are numerous national parks in the continent, but these don’t seem to fit the description of the target, which implies something more along the lines of Central Park in New York City, which are far less common. The question with such a target is how important is it for Africa to implement when compared to other aspects of this goal, as well as the rest of the SDGs.


Proposed Targets:

11.1 By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums

11.2 By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons

11.3 By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanzation and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries

11.4 Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage

11.5 By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the economic losses relative to gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations

11.6 By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management

11.7 By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities

11.a Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning

11.b By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, develop and implement, in line with the forthcoming Hyogo Framework, holistic disaster risk management at all levels

11.c Support least developed countries, including through financial and technical assistance, in building sustainable and resilient buildings utilizing local materials

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Series: Goal 10

Goal-10 PicGoal Ten: Reduce inequality within and among countries

This goal represents a key difference between the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as it is targeted at equality for populations within countries, as well as between different countries globally rather than just looking at aggregate measurements of progress towards each of the goals. For example, Goal Eight has targets emphasizing overall economic growth, whereas this goal mentions specifically improving income growth for the bottom 40 percent of the population. This type of data is not readily available just yet, but a World Bank report on shared prosperity did indicate that Tanzania is currently achieving target 10.1 with income growth of the bottom 40 percent higher than the national average. The annualized growth rate in average income per capita using data from 2002 to 2012 for the total population was 9.11%, while it was 9.76% for the bottom 40 percent. The data indicates that this is not the case for the rest of Africa, where the growth rate for the total population was 3.7% in 2015 and it was only 3.23% for the bottom 40 percent of the population.

Most of the other targets for this goal focus on implementing policies that are nondiscriminatory and encourage equality in both outcomes and opportunities. They are mostly qualitative in nature, making it difficult to show data to indicate the current state of affairs in Africa. Some of the targets, such as 10.2 and 10.6, relate very closely to targets under SDG Sixteen, which will be discussed in greater detail in a later post, and indicate the interconnected nature of the SDGs. This also indicates that many of the issues are multifaceted and cannot be siloed.

Proposed Targets:

10.1 By 2030, progressively achieve and sustain income growth of the bottom 40 per cent of the population at a rate higher than the national average

10.2 By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status

10.3 Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard

10.4 Adopt policies, especially fiscal, wage and social protection policies, and progressively achieve greater equality

10.5 Improve the regulation and monitoring of global financial markets and institutions and strengthen the implementation of such regulations

10.6 Ensure enhanced representation and voice for developing countries in decisionmaking in global international economic and financial institutions in order to deliver more effective, credible, accountable and legitimate institutions

10.7 Facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies

10.a Implement the principle of special and different treatment for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, in accordance with World Trade Organization agreements

10.b Encourage official development assistance and financial flows, including foreign direct investment, to States where the need is greatest, in particular least developed countries, African countries, small island developing States and landlocked developing countries, in accordance with their national plans and programmes

10.c By 2030, reduce to less than 3 per cent the transaction costs of migrant remittances and eliminate remittance corridors with costs higher than 5 per cent.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Series: Goal 9

Goal 9

Goal Nine: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

SDG Nine focuses on the physical elements that surround the global population, which are integral in achieving sustainable development, but can be forgotten when weighed against issues such as healthcare and poverty. This goal emphasizes not only the most commonly thought of forms of infrastructure, such as roads and railways, but also the more modern versions such as internet access. Africa currently has approximately 330 million internet users with a 29% penetration rate on the continent and the numbers are growing. Still, this is relatively low in comparison to the rest of the world, with penetration rates of 40% in Asia, 73% in Europe, 52% in the Middle East and 55% in Latin America, for example. The upward progress, however, is a good sign for achieving the target of universal access.

This goal also emphasizes the need to increase industrialization, especially in developing country contexts. This is particularly relevant for Africa, with most countries in sub-Saharan Africa’s manufacturing share of output having fallen during the past 25 years. Some countries are already making significant progress, however, with Ethiopia’s manufacturing having grown at a rate of approximately 10% per year from 2006-2014, for example. Tanzania has also experienced growth in manufacturing output at 7.5% per year from 2007-2012.

Proposed Targets:

9.1 Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all

9.2 Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries

9.3 Increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets

9.4 By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities

9.5 Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending

9.a Facilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological and technical support to African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States

9.b Support domestic technology development, research and innovation in d4eveloping countries, including by ensuring a conducive policy environment for, inter alia, industrial diversification and value addition to commodities

9.c Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020

Related Content

Article: The Economist – More a marathon than a sprint

Report: UNECA – Industrialising through trade

Video: UONGOZI Institute – Knowledge and Innovation for Africa’s Transformation