New report urges Africa to address fragility through natural resources management

16/02/2016
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The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and the Washington-based Environmental Law Institute (ELI) have produced a new report on natural resources management in fragile and conflict-affected countries. This flagship report examines how African countries in fragile situations can work towards addressing the causes and drivers of fragility by better managing natural resources across sectors.

The report, From Fragility to Resilience: Managing Natural Resources in Fragile Situations in Africa, delves into cross-cutting issues such as climate change, governance, private sector, regional integration, and conflict sensitivity. It also provides options for the design and implementation of natural resource-related programmes geared toward building the resilience of African countries.

“The report posits that fragility is a continuum, and many states that are not fragile experience tensions, localized conflict, and other pockets of fragility,” said Janvier Litse, the AfDB Vice-President for Country and Regional Programmes.

“Fragility spans a broad spectrum that is varied in geographic scope and frequency of conflict, ranging from declared hostilities between warring parties to established states that experience sporadic violence,” explained Sibry Tapsoba, Director of the Bank’s Transition Support Department.

The report is part of a series of initiatives carried out by the AfDB within the context of its Strategy for Addressing Fragility and Building Resilience in Africa for the period 2014-2019. This strategy aims to place the Bank at the centre of Africa’s efforts to address fragility and pave the way for a more resilient and inclusive development trajectory. It is based on an understanding of fragility as a condition of elevated risk of institutional breakdown, societal collapse or violent conflict.

The findings of this report will help the Bank to enhance its engagement with African countries in fragile situations, and reinforce its interventions in bridging the gap between natural resource management and development on the continent.

In supporting countries to improve their natural resource management for resilience, the publication will contribute to accelerating Africa’s sustainable development and meeting the critical needs of Africans through the implementation of the Bank’s top development priorities – the High 5s. They are: Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the quality of life of the people of Africa.