AfDB says stronger governments and private sector are keys to ending fragility in Africa

28/03/2014
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A report launched in January 2014 in Addis Ababa by the African Development Bank (AfDB) said there are three main actions that governments and the AfDB can take together to bring an end to conflict in Africa and help to strengthen the Continent’s fragile sates.

Speaking to an audience of Bank staff present for the report’s release, the Head of the Secretariat to the High Level Panel for Fragile States, Sunita Pitamber, said: “We are at a point where some of the countries affected by deep conflict and crises are on a steady path of recovery. But on the other hand we have seen new conflict and new crises emerging on the Continent.”

After a year of studying this question with the goal of strengthening Africa’s fragile states, “Ending Conflict and Building Peace in Africa: A Call to Action” delivers three main messages.

First, fragility is different from one place to the next and since there is no single condition that describes fragility everywhere, there is no single remedy for it, either. This means the Bank must play a greater role in better understanding the causes of fragility and develop relevant responses that target the specific triggers of conflict.

Second, conflicts and crises are profoundly political in nature. Although the AfDB is apolitical, it has strong convening power. Thus, it should be part of post-conflict negotiations to design development efforts while the political process is completed by other relevant institutions

Third, governments need to stabilize their economies and deliver essential services as a way to minimize the lasting effects of conflict. This calls for strong institutions and a well-developed private sector, so this is where the Bank and its clients need to focus their efforts.