Director at the Ministry of Finance, Moremi Moremi says there is need for concerted efforts for successful implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to the Director, to advance coherent SDGs advocacy and sensitisation, a National SDGs Communication Strategy has been developed.

He explained that the document outlines various ways of communicating SDG messages, such as, forging strategic partnerships with key stakeholders, developing Information Education and Communication (IEC) materials, and working with academic institutions to develop tailor-made training programmes that promote development-oriented reporting, as well as organising workshops and strategic training programmes for various stakeholders involved in the implementation of SDGs.

Moremi, who was speaking at a Media capacity building workshop on SDGs in Palapye last week, pointed out that the National SDGs Communications Strategy identifies media as vital in driving and communicating the SDGs to all citizens.

The Strategy, he said, identifies various forms of media, as channels through which the public can be informed of the SDGs.

“The Government of Botswana is committed to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. As part of the domestication process, efforts have been employed to align the SDGs with national development frameworks, namely Vision 2036, National Development Plan (NDP 11), as well as District and Urban Development Plans.

“Other notable initiatives include development of the Domesticated Indicated Framework (DIF), formation of the necessary institutional structure, as well as development of the National Roadmap on SDGs to guide implementation efforts at both national and sub-national levels, among others,” said Moremi.

He told the workshop that the Roadmap identifies strategic areas to accelerate implementation of the SDGs in line with National Development Plan (NDP) 11 timelines of 2017-2023.

These are the National Ownership, Leadership and Coordination, Advocacy, Sensitisation and Awareness, Planning and Implementation, Data, Monitoring, Reporting and Evaluation, Strengthening the SDGs Institutional Arrangements and Policy Research and Interventions.

He noted that strategic interventions are required in all these areas to accelerate implementation and enhance achievement of the SDGs.

According to Moremi, the strategy outlines target audiences, their roles, and responsibilities in the communication of SDGs.

Among those are the Media, whom the document recognises as vital players in communicating SDGs to all citizens by providing public awareness through objective and effective reporting on key national and sub-national development issues.

He said in relation to overall accountability for the 2030 Agenda, the media can provide a platform to raise awareness of the SDGs and present information as to what decisionmakers and government actors are, or are not, doing.

“It can convey messages of progress and challenges in relation to the SDGs, highlighting the human story behind the data and numbers, and increasing pressure on governments to take action to implement the SDGs.

“This training workshop will enable practitioners to play an important role in raising awareness about the SDGs, as well as educate the public and other stakeholders about the need for action in making the goals a reality.

“To build capacity of media practitioners on SDGs to enable them to develop well informed and quality content on SDGs; and to strengthen a mutually beneficial and a long-lasting partnership between the media and the institutional mechanism for coordination and implementation of the SDGs,” said Moremi.