The African Development Bank lends its support to the African Solidarity Initiative

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has declared its intention to work with the African Union (AU) on the implementation of the African Solidarity Initiative (ASI). The formal declaration of support was made by Sibry Tapsoba, Head of the Fragile States Department at AfDB.

This statement was issued on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 during a roundtable discussion session on the ASI during the 49th Annual Meetings of the AfDB, held in Kigali, Rwanda, from May 19 to 23, 2014, on the theme "The next 50 years: The Africa we want".

The ASI was launched at the 18th AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on July 13, 2012. It is a broad, coordinated platform that aims to increase pledges to Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) programmes in Africa.

Tapsoba stressed the important role that AfDB can play in helping the AU to implement the ASI.

"We are able to manage the resources mobilised via this initiative through the AfDB's Fragile States Facility, which was launched in 2008, representing a total of US $400 billion. Alternatively, we could set up a new fund, with the majority of the funding provision coming from contributions by African states," he explained.

He also revealed that countries including Algeria, South Africa, Nigeria and The Gambia have already agreed, in principle, to contribute to the ASI's budget.

"The size of the contribution is not the most important factor. Instead, it is about symbolic participation in the African Solidarity Initiative," continued Tapsoba. He went on to stress that African states would play an important role in raising the credibility of the ASI by contributing their own funds rather than relying on funding from non-African states.

The chairman of the session, Botswanan Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo, focused on non-financial matters, stating that the ASI could also make a major contribution to capacity-building among the target post-conflict populations, as well as facilitating experience-sharing across all areas of development.

"It is important to ensure effective coordination between the AfDB's activities – via the Fragile States Facility – and the AU's African Solidarity Initiative," he explained. In this respect, he called for rapid implementation of a common framework between the two institutions.

Due to the sheer scale of the existing needs and the complexity of the numerous challenges facing post-conflict countries, additional action is urgently required by all African stakeholders – a fact recognised by the participants at the ASI roundtable session.