On October 7, 2020, the first Afghanistan Sustainable Development Solutions Network Leadership Council (LC) meeting was organized. The meeting was facilitated virtually by SDSN Afghanistan secretariat. This meeting brought together 14 SDSN Afghanistan Leadership Council members from academia, public, private, and civil society sectors in Afghanistan, including Ms. María Cortés Puch, Vice President of SDSN networks, Ms. Dorothea Struber, Manager of national and regional SDSN networks, Mr. Ali Ahmad Yousefi, Chair of SDSN Afghanistan and Chancellor of Kateb University, Mr. Zia Shefaie, Co-Chair of SDSN Afghanistan and Admin and Finance Vice-Chancellor of Kateb University, Ms. Naheed Sarabi, Representative of UNDP, Dr. Osman Babury, Chancellor of Kabul University, Mrs. Orzala Nemat, Director of Afghanistan Research and Evaluation (AREU), Mr. Wali Farhat, Network Manager of SDSN Afghanistan, Ms. Lisa K. Piper, Director of ACBAR, Mr. Mirwais Nahzat, Chief Operating Officer of Kardan University, Mr. Ibrahim Qasemi, Former Parliament Member of Afghanistan, Mr. Hojat Fazly, CEO and Secretary General of ICC-Afghanistan, and John Mohammad Ahmadian, Director of Afghanistan National Education Coalition (ANEC) to guide the work of SDSN Afghanistan in achieving Afghanistan Sustainable Development Goals (A-SDGs) in collaboration with all LC members.
The LC members were welcomed by Mr. Zia Shefaie, Co-Chair of SDSN Afghanistan. The inauguration speech was given by María Cortés Puch, Vice President of SDSN networks, and Dr. Ali Ahmad Yousefi, Chair of SDSN Afghanistan and Chancellor of Kateb University to the LC members’ panel. Ms. Puch stressed the significant role of academia and higher education institutions in achieving SDGs, especially Education for sustainable development goals (ESDGs). Mr. Yousefi also highlighted that awareness-raising on the topics of sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the role of sectors in achieving SDGs is crucial and essential at this point when there is a need to mobilize public, private, academia, civil society, and community in implementing SDGs-related plans and programs. Throughout the meeting, the LC members highlighted the need for more cooperation among different sectors as well as the need for alternative and sustainable SDG financing in Afghanistan. The overall objective of the meeting was to introduce LC members to each other and inform them on SDSN Global objectives and programs, presented by Ms. Struber, SDSN Afghanistan mission, vision, objectives, current activities, and future plans by Mr. Farhat, SDSN Afghanistan Network Manager. He ensured all members of SDSN Afghanistan will be provided with technical and tool supports for their initiatives and programs. The network currently is in the piloting phase of an assessment project “A rapid self-assessment for learning” to assist higher education institutions, especially universities, with evaluating their status in achieving SDGs within Kateb University. The project was introduced to the LC members by Mr. Abdullah Alemi the program analyst of SDSN Afghanistan. Furthermore, as per the discussion of LC members, the official launch of SDSN Afghanistan is going to happen on the second week of December 2020. Furthermore, SDSN Afghanistan has in plan to organize the first-ever Afghanistan Sustainable Development Goals Solutions Forum on December 2020 to bring and gather public, private, academia, civil society sectors, and members of the community to discuss ideas and initiatives in achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Afghanistan.