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The role of universities in implementing the SDGs is essential

ByWebmaster

Sep 14, 2023

BUJUMBURA September 13th (ABP) – The Minister of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock, Mr. Sanctus Niragira, made a presentation on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the role of universities in achieving of the latter, on the occasion of University Week, 2023 edition, solemnly opened on Monday September 11, 2023, at the Mutanga campus of the University of Burundi.

In his presentation, Minister Niragira indicated that among the 17 sustainable development goals are the eradication of poverty in all its forms and everywhere in the world; achieving food security, improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture; ensuring a healthy life and promoting well-being for all at all ages; ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all; achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls and ensuring access for all to water and sanitation and ensuring sustainable management of water resources.

He noted that those SDGs were adopted by the UN in 2015 and constitutes the 2023 agenda. Those are universal goals developed to address the urgent challenges facing our world on social, ecological and political levels, cultural and economic. He said that this agenda associates with each objective, targets to be achieved by 2030, with a view to eradicating poverty, protecting the planet and guaranteeing prosperity for all.

View of the participants

Concerning the role of higher education in achieving the SDGs, Mr. Niragira stressed that Universities undeniably enjoy the status of privileged partners in the race to achieve the SDGs and that they, consequently, have a role unique and essential to play in the implementation of the latter in their sphere of influence.

He added that the skills of Universities in education, research and innovation, to which is added their contribution to serving community, social and civic causes, give them the responsibility to help society to face those challenges.

Minister Niragira announced that Universities have among others the tasks of providing the knowledge necessary for the interdisciplinary challenges of the SDGs, training future leaders who will contribute to implementing the SDGs, participating in advocacy on the social importance of the SDGs, providing students with the knowledge to understand the challenges of the SDGs as well as strengthening teaching capacities in developing countries via university cooperation.

In conclusion, the Minister of the Environment, Agriculture and Livestock recalled that the Sustainable Development Goals constitute an important benchmark to guide the development policies of nations, Agenda 2030 and that to successfully implement them the contribution of universities is very important.