The theme of the conference is to strengthening the role of Sudanese diaspora across the world in achieving the United Nations 2030 Agenda for SD in Sudan. The conference will therefore critically address the question of how Sudan can achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda and to provoke forward thinking on the role of Sudanese diaspora in the future of Sudan. The current situation in Sudan requires developing new methods and approaches to suit the challenges and opportunities of this new era of digital revolution. These new approaches call for actions to create different appropriate ways of doing things and of doing new things that will be essential to solve our future problems and help in the implementation of  SDGs. Systematic search for opportunities is important for helping to ameliorate the many problems facing Sudan. We must therefore produce, consume and organise ourselves differently.

Smart Development refers to development characterized by sustainability, and efficiency, in response to tremendous global technological developments, influenced by social, economic, cultural, scientific and educational characteristics. In this context, the conference aims to discuss and explore various approaches and different ways which can contribute to the analysis, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and dissemination of SD goals and objectives. The conference aims to develop a new SD model which is intelligent and decentralised. While the main theme of the conference is Smart Development but there are other topics which will be discussed during the conference such as other Development Models; Urbanisation; Development and History; Enterprise Development; Human Capital; Industrial Sector; Agricultural Sector and Services Sector.

Public-Private-Partnership (PPP): Until the late 1960s, in most developed and emerging countries, the state has been the major sector responsible for promoting economic and social development, therefore, in addition to the public sector, the conference will recognize the role of the private sector together with the public sector (please refer to the United Nations Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) 2018 report on the Role of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the Implementation of Agenda 2030 for more details and recommendations). The private sector can play a larger role in helping governments and academia focus investments on high-priority and high demand skills, thus young students are ready for employment the moment they graduate. The aim of the conference is to strengthening the role of both public and private sectors in achieving the UN 17 SDGs of the 2030 Agenda.

Policy Research: According to the recent report by JIU 2019 titled “Strengthening the policy research uptake in service of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development”, achieving the 17 SDGs of the 2030 Agenda also requires evidence-based policies and planning at every level and therefore the conference will also include substantial components on evidence-based research and policy planning.

Knowledge Management: JIU 2016 report “Knowledge Management in the United nations System, identified the important contribution of Knowledge Management (KM) to the implementation of the new holistic and collaborative approach on which the 2030 Agenda is based. JIU argued that knowledge can be the most natural integrative factor system-wide and for all the stakeholders in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Diaspora as Agents of Development: The collaboration between the Diaspora and those working within Sudan offers several opportunities and contributes to increase productivity towards sustainable and inclusive knowledge-based growth. Building constructive relationships between the Diasporas and Sudan require that Diasporas be treated not as a mere resource, but as partners and investors with mutual benefits. It has long been argued that Diasporas will be most interested in contributing to SD efforts when they have a sense of belonging in relation to their country of origin. Therefore it is very important to establish trust between Diasporas and governments in the country of origin. In doing so, governments need to invest in identifying their Diasporas abroad and in understanding their skills and interests. Many sustainability problems can only be tackled by connecting the diaspora with those working within the country of origin, for example combating the results of climate change, diseases such as malaria, reservation of natural resources, fighting land degradation or limiting the loss of biodiversity and many other problems. Moreover, knowledge or evidence-based policymaking is indispensable if gaps in living standards are to be narrowed. Therefore, building capacity in country of origin is necessary for competing in the global arena and there it is critical to turn the diaspora into a positive tool for SD as well as serving as role models for the youth in the country of origin.

Youth Engagement: SK is very keen to encourage the engagement of children and youth from across the world in the conference. We are keen to make the voice of all our children and youth heard and consequently enabling the decision makers to consider those views and ideas in their big decisions. The entire concept of SD is about the future and the future is all about the children and youth! Youth population is growing rapidly in all regions of the world including Sudan and we are very keen to understand the children and youth perspectives and expectations for their future to help them be ready to grasp the various opportunities generated in the digital economy. We strongly believe our children and youth should be the cornerstone of any strategy by all governments and policy makers. We must listen to our children and youth and more importantly how we can help our youth with their future employment plans and aspirations. Youth from all-over the world are encouraged to participate in the conference and present their research, perspectives and initiatives.

Women Empowerment: Sudanese women from across the world have an untapped potential as a primary mover of greater development within Sudan. Their role is very crucial for increased development, but challenges remain. And so, significant reforms in economic, social, and political institutions must be made to create an enabling environment for women participation and empowerment. However, it appears that investments in human development are not readily translated to better economic and political outcomes for women. Unfortunately, women’s potential and crucial role in development in Sudan is still impeded by these economic and social factors. Women’s participation is also very important in advancing peace, unity and combating terrorism, which is a most serious threat to SD in Sudan. It has also been recognized that women have been largely excluded from the processes of conflict management and prevention and that their role is important in the achievement of lasting peace and security (UN, 2015). With this, there is a need to increase women’s participation in peace processes since out of 31 global peace processes from 1992 to 2011, only 4% of key stakeholder representatives were women (UN WOMEN, 2011 cited in OXFAM, 2016). Women in peacekeeping missions are also crucial given their broad set of skills that helps in improving trust in communities as a whole (OXFAM, 2016). In general, women’s participation helps in accelerating resolution and countering terrorism while ensuring that women’s rights are protected.