Recently, I had the privilege of taking part in the UN Global Compact CEO Roundtable. We engaged in different conversations during the event. Key among the topics that we explored was the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), their implementation and how to drive their realisation.
I believe that working towards the implementation of these SDGs is perfectly in line with realising Kenya’s Vision 2030 thus this requires a collaborative approach to achieve all of them.
The SDGs are broader compared to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and in essence may seem more challenging to achieve but in an environment where there are proper structures that have been laid towards their achievement then our dream of actualising them is so much alive.
The efficacy of the SDGs lies in their actual achievement. It therefore behooves every industry player in whichever sphere of life, to not only focus on implementing structures within their faculties but also work on projects that are outside their domain so as to collectively toil towards actualising the SDGs.
This is to say that players from different sectors of the economy can work on supporting projects that are not within their realm.
For example in the health sector we can engage in supporting other goals of the SDGs other than only advocating, supporting and promoting good health and wellbeing.
Our colleagues in education can also promote other goals such as zero hunger, gender equality and many others because they are interdependent in one way or another.
You cannot achieve quality education when hunger is still a problem. Likewise, we cannot mitigate climate change when we are not advocating for eco-friendly reduction on the amount of waste we generate.
The ban on the plastic bags was one of the biggest moves we ever made as a country towards realising the SDGs.
Prior to the outlaw, many corporates had pledged their support behind government through the National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) to actually forbid the use of polythene bags. This was done through various CSR projects that sensitised the masses on the biodegradable nature of plastics and their danger to environment.
All major developments by governments or private organisations the world over are today intent on achieving one or more goals of the SDGs.
This is laudable but it would be satisfying if we actually pursued these intentions to their implementation.
Critics have cast aspersions on the indistinct and the infeasible prescriptions of the SDGs. It has been argued that meeting the 169 targets of the SDGs is a pipe dream as achieving all these involve high costs.
Despite these concerns, we should be optimistic and set the next 13 years as a period of radical transformation in all sectors of the economy by setting attainable records with the target of attaining the SDGs and by extension our Vision 2030.
This way, not only will our economy grow but also the lives of the people will change as a friendly environment will have been created where the conversation will have shifted from ending poverty to wealth creation.
If we all came together and chart a path with the sole aim of realising the SDGs then we will be on the clear path to success.
It is therefore our mandate as leaders to champion this journey to the country and the world we want. Let us all lead our people and board the bus that will carry us all to the destination leading to attaining the SDGs. It is a commitment we should make as it will be a pleasant promise to fulfill.
Gordon Odundo is the CEO of The Nairobi Hospital; email: [email protected]