Members of Parliament have been tasked to mobilize resources locally in order to support the implementation and monitoring of Sustainable Development Goals.
Dr. Fanwell Bokosi, Director, Africa Forum and Network on Debt and Development while delivering a presentation on 'mobilizing resources for SDG implementation in Sub-Saharan Africa', said that MPs need to scrutinize government expenditure and borrowing, regulation, and revenue collection for the benefit of SDGs. This was during the Regional Seminar on the Sustainable Development Goals for the Parliaments of Sub-Saharan Africa, on Thursday, 2nd March, 2017 at Hotel Africana.
"As MPs, you need to ensure that government expenditure favours SDGs; limits borrowing and relying heavily on natural resources; and that it regulates funds assigned to implementing SDGs to eliminate instances of corruption and mismanagement," Dr. Bokosi said.
Dr. Bokosi added that MPs need to remember that they are accountable to tax payers for all the money collected and appropriated. "It is your role as a Member of Parliament to ensure that everyone is paying fair and adequate tax; and to further ensure that the money is usefully sunk into the economy," Dr. Bokosi said.
Dr. Bokosi noted that MPs need to curtail the practice of delegating too much power to the technocrats in government. "Emphasis needs to be put in formulating reporting lines to monitor the progress of projects that implement SDGs," he said.
"Audits usually come three to four years later when assignments have been executed and resources are abused. Therefore, we need to institutionalise the system of reporting and be ready to be held accountable for our shortcomings," Dr. Bokosi said.
He further encouraged parliaments to carry out post-action audits and executive outreach to the areas where activities in line with SDGs are being implemented.
In addition to that, Hon. Col. Fred Mwesigye (NRM, Nyabushozi County) encouraged fellow parliamentarians to lobby their governments to open up trade and communication barriers in order to support each other and grow economically.
"We need to be independent both politically and economically to achieve the SDGs. We cannot keep borrowing money from the developed countries to implement SDGs because when they extend funding it is to their own benefit," Col. Mwesigye said, adding that, "We need to support each other as Sub-Saharan Africa especially in as far as trade is concerned."
Hon. Davison Mung'andu, an MP from Zambia said that African countries should invest more in Africa in order to protect their natural resources and to encourage development from within.
"Parliaments need to lobby their executives to partner with other African countries in trade and promote African Businesses. This will help us realise that our own people are employed and economically empowered," Mung'andu said.
The Regional Seminar on the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals for Parliaments of Sub-Saharan Africa was organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Parliament of Uganda. The Seminar focuses on implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the African states. It ends on Friday, 3rd February, 2017.
Source: Parliament of Uganda