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Private sector partnerships have an influential part in the progress of the SDGs

In September 2015 when world leaders gathered in New York to endorse the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it became clear that the SDGs needed an urgent paradigm shift for people and the planet. A new agenda for sustainable development entitled “transforming our world” was then approved globally.

Under the agenda, businesses, civil societies and governments are expected to equally take responsibility for progressing a more sustainable path forward. This can mainly be achieved through partnerships.

Partnerships have received their own focus within the SDGs, specifically number 17 which is an open call to “strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development” based on a spirit of strengthened solidarity; a step recognized as essential to ensure the fulfilment of the different developmental, environmental and economic aspects of all goals and its targets.

Do the private sector partnerships have an influential role to play in the progress of the SDGs?

Kenya Climate Innovation Center Group CEO, Dr. Edward Mungai shared a few insights on this.

“By enabling different sectors to come together to share skills and resources, the cross-sector partnerships have proven to be an important vehicle to achieve a broad-scale change for sustainability. Different sectors such KCIC Group have managed to achieve more than they could through partnerships,” he says.

KCIC Group which is divided into four branches: Kenya Climate Innovation Center, Kenya Climate Ventures, KCIC Consulting Ltd and Center for Governance and Sustainability has been at the forefront when it comes to growing inclusive value chains to benefit smallholder farmers, investing in climate-smart solutions and offering advisory services for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), organizations and governments to economically achieve their objectives

To better leverage the private sector’s resources and expertise, as well as enhance its role in “sparking a new wave of financing and innovation” to achieve the SDGs, a lot still need to be done to facilitate a stronger-wide approach to partnership, that will enhance the impact of collaboration with the private sector.

“Private sectors still need influential leadership, harmonious leadership, strong business models, advisory systems, and monitoring and evaluation systems for assessing the progress of the implementation of the SDGs,” Dr. Edward adds.

International organizations such as the United Nations and World Bank need to accelerate more private sector capital that deliberately supports the SDGs, by exploring ways to help unlock trillions of dollars in the private sector finance. There is also a dire need for a reliable set of measurable indicators to support the private sector in measuring the implementation progress.