Strengthening partnerships to accelerate momentum on SDGs in Zimbabwe

Mr. Edward Kallon has brought extensive experience to his new role this year leading the 25 UN entities that comprise the UN Country Team in Zimbabwe, after helping to tackle long term developmental and complex humanitarian challenges in his previous role as the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria for five years (2017-2021). 

  • The implementation of the new UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, the roadmap for sustainable development between the UN and the Government of Zimbabwe (2022-2026), will see a systematic scaling of joint approaches and partnerships. The outreach and coordination efforts deployed by the Resident Coordinator resulted in an increased number of UN entities signing up to participate in the Cooperation Framework– an increment of about 40%, from 18 to 25 UN entities (including nine UN entities lending their expertise from their regional or headquarters hub, having no physical presence in the country).

Especially noteworthy is the leadership of the Resident Coordinator with the UN Country Team in working jointly to help address priority development challenges in the country.  

  • This is especially evident in the Spotlight Initiative, a partnership of the United Nations with the European Union to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls – which, in Zimbabwe, is implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Women Affairs and other partners to support  women and girls living with disabilities, HIV and in rural settings. In September 2022, the Zimbabwe Spotlight Initiative won the Fortitude Award at the Global Learning Symposium held in Cancún, Mexico. To date the programme has reached over 5 million beneficiaries, and established national prevention mechanisms along with equipping law enforcement with state-of-art forensic labs to bring perpetrators to justice.
  • The Resident Coordinator has also helped mobilize and is providing strategic direction to a USD 10 million grant from the UN’s Joint SDG Fund for the UN Country Team, to catalyze investments in climate and sustainable energy for productive use and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Together with another USD 3.7 million from UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization (UNESCO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), is helping leverage an estimated USD 35 million in partnerships with financial institutions such as the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe, Old Mutual Investment Group and Zimnat Asset Management, to enhance access by women and youth to renewable energy in rural areas of Zimbabwe. 
  • The Resident Coordinator is also convening a high-level platform bringing together the Government, national stakeholders and the international community for a national dialogue to ensure consolidation of gains in the ongoing economic and democratic reform efforts of the country to unlock support for the Zimbabwe’s National Development Strategy, a medium-to-long term plan to achieve the SDGs.



Edward Kallon

Resident Coordinator in Zimbabwe