In a bid to systematise Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their research and learning programmes, the University of Botswana (UB) has become the first and only institution of higher education in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to have an implementation plan for Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4).
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation Regional Office for Southern Africa (UNESCO ROSA) says University of Botswana’s SDG4 Committee guarantees that SDG4 is entrenched in their teaching programmes, adding that such a model is a good pattern of how universities in SADC can systematise SDGs in their research and learning programmes.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which was adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. It contains 17 goals and SDG 4 which is a global education goal aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all and has seven targets and three means of implementation.
University of Botswana SDG4 Committee which has been in operation for almost 4 years now has the mandate to organise the institution’s contribution and input in the execution of SDGs.
Since majority of universities in SADC member states, except University of Botswana, do not have SDG operational plans, they are in a strategic partnership with UBs SDG4 Committee to accelerate SDG attainment and ensure that their research and learning programmes are inclusive of SDGs. Universities across the region are also liaising and networking with each other to craft an African universities hub for SDGs using the University of Botswana SDG4 Committee as a model.
Amongst other things, the SDG4 is critical to resolving capacity challenges in tertiary and higher education institutions in Africa.