Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Series: Goal 8

Goal 8Goal Eight: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Goal Eight, like Goal Seven, also does not stem directly from the Millennium Development Goals, with its emphasis on the economies of countries rather than some of the social indicators referenced in other goals. Part of this goal’s targets calls for specific annual GDP growth targets of 7 percent for least developed countries. Africa’s GDP growth is expected to be at 4.5% by the end of 2015 and 5% in 2016. This shows some positive progress and a strong likelihood of achieving the target.

Aside from GDP growth, this goal also focuses on labour rights and protections, as well as unemployment, with two of the targets with a specific focus on youth unemployment. Africa has the youngest population in the world, with the youth population expected to double on the continent by 2045. According the the Africa Economic Outlook 2015, approximately 19 million youth in Sub-Saharan Africa entered the labour market this year, and this figure is expected to grow to an average of 24.6 million a year over the next 15 years. This presents a significant risk for youth unemployment. Creating more productive jobs will become an even greater priority in the implementation of the SDGs.


Proposed Targets:

8.1 Sustain per capita economic growth in accordance with national circumstances and, in particular, at least 7 per cent gross domestic product growth per annum in the least developed countries

8.2 Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value-added and labour-intensive sectors

8.3 Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services

8.4 Improve progressively, through 2030, global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, in accordance with the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, with developed countries taking the lead

8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value

8.6 By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training

8.7 Take immediate and effective measures to secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, eradicate forced labour and, by 2025, end child labour in all its forms, including the recruitment and use of child soldiers

8.8 Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment

8.9 By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products

8.10 Strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and expand access to banking, insurance and financial services for all

8.a Increase Aid for Trade support for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, including through the Enhanced Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least Developed Countries

8.b By 2020, develop and operationalize a global strategy for youth employment and implement the Global Jobs Pact of the International Labour Organization

Related Information

Report on the Roundtable Discussion on ‘Shared Societies and Inclusive Sustainable Development’ organized by UONGOZI Institute and the Club of Madrid in 2013, including video from the event.

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Sustainable Development Goals Series: Goal 7

Goal Seven: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all


This SDG is the first that really doesn’t seem to originate in any direct way from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which is likely due to the particular focus of this agenda on the sustainability aspect of development rather than development in general. The first target of this goal calls for increased access to modern energy services, such as electricity. In East Africa as of 2012, 15.3% of Tanzania’s population had access to electricity, 18.2% had access in Uganda, 18% in Rwanda, 6.5% in Rwanda and 23% in Kenya which is closest to the continental average of 24%.

The second target under this goal is to increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. Africa certainly seems to be on track with this. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency’s “Africa 2030” report, the use of renewable energy has the potential to grow from about 5% in Africa to 22% by 2030. Furthermore, at the COP21 United Nations climate talks in Paris, the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) was launched, aiming to formalize the continent’s desire to increase its renewable energy capacity by as much as 300 GW — twice the continent’s total current electricity supply.

A particularly interesting aspect of this goal is its call for improved energy efficiency, focusing not just on how many people are able to use these resources, but also how well they are being managed and utilized. Other targets focus on improving international cooperation to facilitate access to and promoting investment in clean energy – which has also began to see some results in Africa with France committing to provide 2 billion euros for renewable energy in Africa between 2016 and 2020 at COP 21- and expanding infrastructure and upgrading technology for the supply of modern sustainable energy.


Proposed Targets:

7.1 By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services

7.2 By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix

7.3 By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency

7.a By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology

7.b By 2030, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries and small island developing States