National Councils for Sustainable Development in Africa: A Review of Institutions and their Functioning, UNECA
by: Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)

This report on National Councils for Sustainable Development (NCSDs) in Africa comes at a time when strong emphasis is being placed on regional implementation of sustainable development agreements through provision of greater coherence, and better coordination of global, regional and national level concerns, priorities and actions. In responding to the regional implementation mandate conferred upon regional Commissions at WSSD, the ECA recognizes the centrality of wellconstituted and effectively functioning national institutions to achieving sustainable development.

Against this backdrop, the report aims to document progress made with regard to the establishment of NCSDs, as recommended by UNCED and WSSD. Its overall objectives are to promote experience sharing, information exchange and knowledge networking, as well as to increase advocacy for the establishment of NCSDs that function effectively. In this regard, the report takes stock of established NCSDs and their operations, in the context of the requirement for a balanced integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. In addition to institutional issues, the report also examines policies, strategies, plans and legislation and attempts to draw on experiences in the implementation process in a bid to deepen the learning process among ECA member States.

The report builds on the work of many agencies operating in the field of sustainable development and is targeted at a broad audience including policy makers and technical experts in government institutions at central and local levels, nongovernmental organizations (local and international), academia, the private sector and civil society. It also targets bilateral and multilateral development agencies including those within the UN system.

It is hoped that the report?s emphasis on the need to integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development and on the establishment of institutions that adequately respond to the broad and crosscutting nature of sustainable development in a holistic and integrated manner, will draw attention to consolidating positive results and addressing limitations. The implementation of the recommendations will require concerted and coordinated efforts on the part of all concerned. To this end, building and strengthening effective and viable partnerships are crucial.

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