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Columnists

What next after the launch of development goals?

The national road map for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 was presented last week.

It reaffirms the country’s commitment to the goals and their achievement as well as facing the challenges of implementing them.

One major challenge with the SDGs is capacity building. We need to push for the SDGs to be understood at all levels of society.

This means interpreting the goals for everyone. The only way to transform a people, a nation, a world is to have all people speaking in one voice. Once the goals are understood, then individuals can champion the change in their own small ways.

Talking about the goals at work, asking for greater accountability from the government, passing on the information to our children are ways that individuals can engage in the goals. Change must be understood by all involved.

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Financing the SDGs is another major hurdle. The estimated deficit in financing the SDGs is about $2.5 trillion a year. Proponents of the SDGs are looking at partnerships to ensure the goals are met.

This may deliver some reprieve, but we must also address corruption and poor governance. Once the two vices are addressed will we be able to see the development trickling down to mwananchi. Corruption creates inequalities for the poor and denies them the dignity of a good life.

We must challenge our thinking. The traditional financial models and approaches to corporate social responsibility (CSR) must be questioned. We must rethink business that is only for profit and CSR that delivers PR.

Business must be conducted with careful consideration of stakeholders. Taking care of these needs ensures continuity by identifying potential risks and opportunities in good time.

Rethinking CSR to deliver impact rather than front page headlines will mean investing in initiatives that have a business case. Goal 17 calls for partnership.

This means moving past seeking individual glory and looking to achieving the goals for the good of all of us. Civil society, the government and private sector must find ways of supporting each other’s efforts.

This eliminates duplicity of work and wastage of resources. We must keep up with what we are all doing.

Research must be done and up to date data kept to capture how the SDGs are being addressed by different players. All in all the SDGs present an opportunity for us to reshape Kenya’s future.

The author is the founder and CEO at Beyond Profit Kenya Limited.

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