Tshilidzi Marwala paints a stark, and often grim, picture of our current context – one defined by monumental setbacks in the SDGs. Yet, as he carves out each developmental goal and its implications, it is apparent that there are tangible solutions that can be implemented at this time. The SDGs are 17 goals for global development – effectively a blueprint for significantly changing the world by 2030. To quickly run through them, the 17 SDGs are: (1) No Poverty, (2) Zero Hunger, (3) Good Health and Well-being, (4) Quality Education, (5) Gender Equality, (6) Clean Water and Sanitation, (7) Affordable and Clean Energy, (8) Decent Work and Economic Growth, (9) Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, (10) Reduced Inequality, (11) Sustainable Cities and Communities, (12) Responsible Consumption and Production, (13) Climate Action, (14) Life Below Water, (15) Life on Land, (16) Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, and (17) Partnerships for the Goals.
There is now a renewed sense of urgency, with only eight years until 2030 and the issue is exacerbated by the setbacks because of COVID-19. Tshilidzi’s assertion that now is the time to act is backed by cohesive and actionable data with a simple mission statement: we must heal the future. He offers a new narrative that addresses how we can translate the latent potential that exists through technology, innovation and Fourth Industrial Revolution approaches to leadership and policy-making to deal with, among others, corruption, poverty eradication, joblessness, an education system in crisis, declining economies and food insecurity.
Heal our World is a deep dive into the SDGs, particularly in the African context, and it looks toward securing a future in which our divisions are blurred, and our goals seem almost within reach again.