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Global Goals Week blog 2020

by Ade Olaiya - African Voices Forum.


To mark 10 years to go to reach the Global Goals we invited Ade Olaiya from the African Voices Forum to reflect on the Goals.


International frameworks such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are important to reduce exclusion and marginalisation of vulnerable groups from access to universal human rights. Empirical evidence that systemic racism contributes to disproportionately high levels of COVID-19 infection and fatality rates in African diaspora communities globally, highlights anti-discrimination norms e.g. ICERD 1965, are inadequately enforced and transposed into domestic legislation by state parties.


In that regard, Bristol is an acknowledged trailblazer for drafting urban policy interventions such as the One City Plan and One Bristol Curriculum that advocate inclusion of marginalised communities by implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. Bristol’s SDG Alliance in collaboration with the City Office and other stakeholders produced the Voluntary Local Review, which provides guidelines to reduce inequality within and between countries for protected characteristics, including race and ethnicity, in accordance with SDG 10.


Actions taken to date by local stakeholders such as the Race Equality in Education Group include drafting the One Bristol Curriculum, that advocates quality education for all in accordance with SDG 4. This action aims to address empirical evidence of educational inequality between local white and non-white communities. For example, African students exhibit disproportionately low educational attainment at all levels, and high exclusion rates that contribute to a “classroom to prison pipeline.” Similarly, unequal access to other social, economic and cultural rights as well as to civil and political rights contributes to disproportionate socioeconomic marginalisation of the Bristol’s minority ethnic communities.


Representation of African diaspora led organisations in local civic bodies should facilitate community participation and community empowerment for policy interventions that address longstanding systemic injustices. For example, knowledge exchange and collaboration between place-based thought leaders and other stakeholders in Bristol, must address historic and contemporary forms of Afrophobia, to achieve peace, justice and good governance in accordance with SDG 16.


H. B. Adediran Olaiya, M.A.

African Voices Forum

Bristol SDG Alliance








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