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AfricAvenir Berlin Projects SDGs post-2015 agenda

African Perspectives on Global Challenges (in the context of the Post-2015 Agenda Process)

In 2015, the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), finalized and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2001, will have expired – without achieving all of their aims. Extreme poverty and growing inequality rates as well as diverging regional success in achieving the goals are continuing stumbling blocks on the road to “a better future”. Against this backdrop, the so-called “UN Post-2015 Development Agenda Process” started with the aim of evaluating the deficiencies of the MDGs and designing a blueprint for new global development co-operation after 2015.

The 70th UN General Assembly will be held from September 15 2015, with the general debate starting on the 22nd. It will agree on a outcome document divided into 4 sections: a declaration, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets, the means of implementation and the global partnership for development, and follow–up and review.

Our project “African Perspectives on Global Challenges (in the context of the Post-2015 Agenda Process)” will follow the discussions about the agenda and the so-called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which build upon the MDGs and will converge with the Post-2015 Agenda, from a critical African perspective. During the process of drawing up the Millennium Development Goals in 2001, underlying historical and structural causes of global inequality, especially between Europa and Africa, were insufficiently considered and targeted. The declared goal of the new Post-2015 Agenda, however, is to incorporate both the north and the Global South equally in the negotiating process. For this reason, AfricAvenir would like to promote African points of view in Germany, formulate and discuss Afro-European goals and visions of a Post-2015 Agenda with partners and channel them towards the political decision-making process. With regards to future common and specific development challenges, AfricAvenir seeks to learn from African experiences and approaches.

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Background & Motivation

In times of global upheaval, opportunities and transformation, solutions to the inherent challenges can only be found based on a common, global and holistic approach. One of these shifts is undoubtedly the expiry of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015 and the increasing pressure on the international development cooperation system to adapt to the new circumstances and deliver results. In the process of a desperately needed redefinition of global partnership, we can already see that conventional development co-operation will continue to play a minor role.

In this context, high-level UN-committees have begun to work on the formulation of a new Post-2015 Agenda to succeed the current development goals. Ambitious, realistic and measurable, as well as easily communicable and limited in numbers – that's the formula for the new agenda goals. In addition, a new ecological focus will be prompted by the so-called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and will be prominently added to the goal of poverty reduction. An expert commission has been inaugurated in order to secure the financing of the new agenda.

The UN Secretary General initiated the Post-2015 Agenda at the 2010 UN-MDG summit in New York. At the “Special Event” on 25th September 2013, the UN General Assembly passed a roadmap for the worldwide process. This roadmap scheduled the beginning of global negotiations, the presentation of results by late 2014 and the formulation of precise goals at the General Assembly in autumn 2015.

Despite the publicly stated aim to engage in a broad dialogue with representatives of worldwide civil societies and an open and participative consultation process throughout the development of the new agenda, voices from the Global South are still marginalized and have not been sufficiently incorporated in the agenda process. The UN’s approach still bears too strong a resemblance to the old pattern according to which the north designed development strategies for the Global South. Underlying historical and structural inequalities are largely overlooked and alternative, self-determined perspectives on “development” dismissed. This makes a sustainable and socially just fight against global poverty and hunger through an equal North-South partnership impossible.

On this account, we would like to critically trace the last stage in the development of this new agenda for ecologically-sustainable reduction of global poverty and hunger along the UN roadmap in the coming year. By giving African and Afro-German experts and representatives a platform to voice their opinions, we would like to address interested members of the German and global public and sensitize them to African and southern perspectives on the MDGs/SDGs and the Post-2015 Agenda as well as engage them in the process.

During the first year of our project, we will gather critical voices from the Global South through three discussion forums and one symposium, which will follow and critically reflect upon the Post-2015 Agenda and the formulation of the SDGs. Afterwards, we intend to communicate these insights through diverse channels and instruments to reach the German and international public. Finally, by December 2015 we intend to have launched a parallel dialogue with political decision-makers and representatives of NGOs especially in Germany.

International conference “The Post-2015 Development Agenda – African Perspectives on Global Challenges”, 05.12.2014 – 06.12.2014

JugendKulturZentrum PUMPE
Lützowstraße 42
10785 Berlin

The historical and structural causes of global injustice, especially between Africa and Europe, were insufficiently considered when the MDGs, which expire in 2015, were first drafted. The declared goal of the post-2015 agenda is to involve both the Global South and north in the negotiation process. Despite public declarations that a broad dialogue will be held and include representatives of global civil society as part of an open and participatory consultation process on developing the new agenda, voices from the Global South are still insufficiently involved in this process. The UN’s approach essentially consists of stating the Global North’s goals for the Global South. Historically and structurally conditioned unequal distribution is largely ignored when analysing the problems. And an alternative, self-determined perspective on “development” is being totally ignored. Thus, a sustainable and socially just fight against global poverty and hunger, as a part of an equal north-south partnership, is still impossible.

Against this backdrop, AfricAvenir is launching its two-year project entitled "African Perspectives on Global Challenges (as part of the post-2015 agenda processes)". We aim to create an opportunity for presenting African views on the post-2015 agenda to a broad public in Germany. Together with our partners, we will formulate and discuss African-European goals and visions for the coming post-2015 agenda. We would also like to contribute to the decision-making process and learn from African experiences with a view to managing common and specific development challenges in the future.

As part of this project, an international conference will be held in Berlin from 5th to 6th December 2014. Notable speakers from academia and civil society will raise questions about African perspectives on the post-2015 agenda and the SDGs and discuss indigenous, independent developmental paths. Another aim is to encourage networking between African activists and representatives of German non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and associations in the  development and climate policy sectors. The following guests will be attending: Dr. Chika A. Ezeanya, Nigerian political scientist and blogger, Boniface Mabanza, literary scholar, philosopher and theologian from the Church Work on Southern Africa (KASA) in Heidelberg, Dr. Dereje Alemayehu, development economist and chairman of the Tax Justice Network Africa and the Global Alliance on Tax Justice, and Philani Mthembu, Graduate from the School of Global Politics, FU Berlin.

For more information on the conference, please contact:
Karenina Schröder
Tel: 030-26934764

Conference Agenda

5th December 2014

16.00 Arrival and registration, welcome and introduction to the conference program
16.30 World Café: Exchange, getting to know each other, expectations and ideas for the conference
17.45 Coffee break
18.00 Introductory lecture by Dr. Boniface Mabanza (KASA, Heidelberg): Von den MDGs zu den SDGs. Anspruch und Wirklichkeit des globalen Entwicklungsdiskurses aus afrikanischer zivilgesellschaftlicher Perspektive.
19.30 Dinner

Selected African short films

informal get-together

6th December 2014

09.00 Welcome and introduction to the day
09.15 Lecture Dr. Chika Ezeanya (University of Rwanda): What comes after 2015? Visions from an African perspective with questions and discussion
10.15 Coffee break
10.30: Future workshop I: Visions for global sustainable development and the new agenda
12.00 Lecture Dr. Dereje Alemayehu (TJNA): Curbing illegitimate resource outflows to reliably finance the Post-2015 goals in Africa, with questions and discussion
13.00 Lunch
14.30 Future workshop II: Visions for global sustainable development and the new agenda
16.00 Coffee break
16.15 Plenary: Results from the "future workshop" working phases
18.00 Concluding remarks and outlook by Philani Mthembu: What would a partnership on equal terms between the Global South and North mean for Europe?
19.15 End of conference

Registration Fees: 30€ (reduced 20€)
Registration: Natalia Kolodziejska: n.kolodziejska(at)africavenir.org


Dr. Boniface Mabanza is an experienced expert for development studies. He studied philosophy, literature and theology in Kinshasa, Democratic Republik Congo and received his PhD by the University of Münster. Currently, he is engaged as coordinator at the “Kirchliche Arbeitsstelle Südliches Afrika” (KASA) in Heidelberg, which initiates lobbying and campaigning concerning issues connected to socio-economic  justice in southern Africa. Until 2013, he was a teacher for development politics at the German Academy for  International Cooperation (AIZ), including courses on MDGs/SDGs. He published a variety of articles and books, among them “Gerechtigkeit kann es nur für alle geben. Eine Globalisierungskritik aus afrikanischer Perspektive” (2009) which offers a critical African approach to globalisation and global injustice. As staff member of the Eine Welt-Forum in Münster, he coordinated a campain on the challenges of the MDGs for state municipalities.

Dr. Chika A. Ezeanya is a researcher, writer and public intellectual, whose works focus on determining appropriate strategies for Africa's authentic and sustainable advancement,  based on indigenous knowledge and home-grown strategies.  Chika received her PhD in African Development and Policy Studies from Howard in Washington D.C., and has worked as a World Bank consultant in Washington D.C., Rwanda and Nigeria. Chika was part of the UNDP Consultations on a Post-2015 Development Agenda for Africa in Johannesburg in 2013. She has taught, conducted research and worked in several countries across three continents. Chika is a fiction and non-fiction writer in addition to being an international conference speaker. She is currently engaged at the University of Rwanda.

Dr. Dereje Alemayehu is a development economist of Ethiopian origin. He holds a master's degree in Development Studies and received his PhD in Economics from the Free University Berlin and has taught both subjects
for more than twelve years. He was a founding Chair of the Tax Justice Africa Network for seven years, where he has now taken the position of Senior Advisor for Economic Policy. He is also the current Chair of the Coordination Committee of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice. He works for the UK NGO Christian Aid as a Senior Economic Justice Advisor.

Philani Mthembu is a scholar of international relations from South Africa, where he attained his Master's degree at the University of the Witwatersrand and tutored first-year students under the Academic Development Programme (ADP). Mthembu is also a co-founder of the Berlin Forum on Global Politics and recently submitted his PhD at the Graduate School of Global Politics (GSGP) at the Freie Universität Berlin (FU). His dissertation focuses on “The Rise of Emerging Powers as Sources of Development Cooperation in Africa”.

With the friendly support of the Landesstelle für Entwicklungszusammenarbeit und Engagement Global.


Recommended Websites

  • Post 2015 is a hub for ideas, debate and resources on what comes after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and has an interesting blog section on Southern Voices. The website is facilitated by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), UK's leading independent think tank on international development and humanitarian issues. 
  • Civil Society Organizations for the 3rd Financing for Development Conference is a site organized by the Addis CSO Coordination Group for the civil society preparations to the 3rd Financing for Development Conference to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, July 13-16 2015.
  • MDGs in Africa provides updates and news on the Millennium Development Goals in Africa. The aim of this youth-initiated tool is to connect young people to the inspiring stories of the eight goals in Africa. This helps to promote continuous efforts towards sustainable development on the continent. The more positive stories we share, the better Africa becomes.
  • NGOsbeyond2014.org is a resource for all stakeholders in the post-2015 development agenda process who are interested in sexual and reproductive health and rights, including maternal health, and young people and gender issues. It serves NGOs who are trying to ensure that these topics are strongly represented in the new SDGs. The website is run by the Commonwealth Medical Trust (Commat) and is sponsored by donors such as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the International Planned Parenthood (IPPF).
  • The World We Want 2015 enables people to engage, visualise and analyse people’s voices on sustainable development. It gathers the priorities of people from every corner of the world and helps build a collective vision that will be used directly by the United Nations and World Leaders to plan a new development agenda launching in 2015, one that is based on the aspirations of all citizens.
  • The African Women’s Development and communication Network  (FEMNET) is an NGO set up in 1988 to share information, experiences, ideas and strategies among African women’s NGOs as a strategy for strengthening women’s capacity to participate effectively the development of the continent. This is done through advocacy, training, communication and networking. FEMNET frequently publishes articles in which the process of constructing post-2015 agenda is being critically analysed from the African females perspectives.

Civil Society Organisations and Initiatives

  • African Monitor is an independent African body, which aims to be an independent catalyst to monitor development funding commitments, delivery and impact on the grassroots and to bring strong additional African voices to the development agenda.
  • Afrodad (African Forum and Network for Debt and Developement is a civil society organisation established in 1996 as a regional platform and organisation for lobbying and advocating for debt cancellation and addressing other debt related issues in Africa. 
  • Beyond 2015 is a global civil society campaign, pushing for a strong and legitimate successor framework to the Millennium Development Goals. Beyond 2015 brings together more than 1000 Civil Society Organizations from 132 countries all over the world. Of these, 56% are Southern CSOs and 44% are Northern CSOs - in 41 countries in Africa, 29 countries in Asia and the Pacific, 35 countries in Europe, 2 countries in North America and 26 countries in Latin America.
  • Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) is a NY-based organisation working to promote social justice through human rights.
  • ENDA (environment development action in the third world) is an internationally active network promoting social justice ideas and approaches from the Global South
  • Femnet (African Women's Developement and Communication
  • Network) is a regional, membership-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) set up to share information, experiences, ideas and strategies among African women's NGOs as a strategy for strengthening women's capacity to participate effectively in the developement of our continent.
  • The Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) is one of the world's largest civil society networks, with National Coalitions and Constituency Groups in more than eighty countries. It is a southern-led movement that challenges the structures and institutions that perpetuate poverty and inequality. GCAP constituents are participating in national, regional and thematic consultations, both in person and online, to influence the post-2015 process.
  • The International Youth Council (IYC) is a civil society organization founded at the Youth Assembly at the United Nations in 2007.The vision of the International Youth Council is to build a global forum and platform on which all young people can develop a unified voice and take collective action toward social, economic, and environmental progress.
  • Participate is a network of 18 participatory research organisations working with poor and marginalised groups in 29 countries. The initiative provides high quality evidence on the reality of poverty at ground level, bringing the perspectives of the poorest into the global debate on what should follow the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) when they expire in 2015.
  • Southern Voice - On Post-MDG International Development Goals is an initiative to allow the global South to channel their evidence-based policy inputs into the ongoing discussion on post-2015 framework and targets.
  • Women Deliver is a global advocacy organization bringing together voices from around the world to call for action to improve the health and well-being of girls and women. As Post-2015 negotiations are coming to a close, Women Deliver has been surveying their colleagues and partners to develop key recommendations for ensuring that maternal, sexual and reproductive health and rights will be at the center of the new framework, and advocating for these recommendations to be considered at the highest level.

Newspapers, magazines and other publications

  • Leadership is one of Nigeria’s most influential newspapers and has published a range of articles about the MDGs
  •  AllAfrica is a voice of, by and about Africa - aggregating, producing and distributing 2000 news and information items daily from over 130 African news organizations and our own reporters to an African and global public. We operate from Cape Town, Dakar, Lagos, Monrovia, Nairobi and Washington DC. It publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic.
  • Pambazuka News is produced by a pan-African community of some 2,600 citizens and organisations - academics, policy makers, social activists, women's organisations, civil society organisations, writers, artists, poets, bloggers, and commentators who together produce insightful, sharp and thoughtful analyses and make it one of the largest and most innovative and influential web forums for social justice in Africa.

Further Reading

On the MDGs

On the post 2015 agenda

related topics

The Open Working Group Proposal for the Sustainable Development Goals

The Synthesis Report of the UN Secretary-General 2014

Development financing post-2015

Time frame for the post 2015 negotations:

25–27 September: UN Summit: Delivering on and Implementing a Transformative Post–2015 Development Agenda


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