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AfDB Approves a New Strategy to Address Fragility and Build Resilience in Africa


The Board of Executive Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) approved on June 18, 2014 in Tunis the AfDB’s new Strategy for “Addressing Fragility and Building Resilience in Africa (2014-2019)”. The Strategy aims to place the institution at the center of Africa’s efforts to address fragility and pave the way for a more resilient and inclusive development trajectory.

Over the past decade, Africa has seen enormous growth and transformation that has expanded opportunities and improved living conditions for millions of people. However, as shown by the AfDB’s report of the High Level Panel on Fragile States, there are significant risks that this momentum could be undermined by important pressures –including continuing patterns of exclusion and povertyunemploymentclimate change and poor management of natural resources.

The discussions of current and former African Heads of State during the AfDB Group’s Annual Meetings in Kigali, Rwanda, in May 2014 highlighted that no country is immune to fragility. Policy makers emphasized the critical role of leadership, the multiple sources of fragility, the political dimension of conflicts, and the limited capacity of institutions to put in place mechanisms for dialogue and reconciliation.

And the AfDB has been called to enhance its leadership role in this context and to mobilize regional and international efforts to address the development challenges posed by fragility. Understanding fragility as a condition of elevated risk of institutional breakdown, societal collapse or violent conflict, the AfDB recognizes that fragility does not respect state boundaries.

“The  African Development Bank will stay engaged across the spectrum of fragile situations, making use of all available instruments and focusing its resources on the areas where it can have the biggest impact,” said President Donald Kaberuka who chaired the meeting.

In this regard, reaching out to the private sector and civil society in fragile situations will be an important feature of the Bank’s engagement. The AfDB will also strengthen its engagement in four regions that are particularly at risk: Horn of Africa, Sahel, Mano River Union and Great Lakes and Central Africa region.

“There is no predefined toolbox to address fragility and build resilience in Africa. Therefore, the African Development Bank will engage in a process of “learning by doing, jointly with its regional member countries, private sector and civil society,” said Sibry Tapsoba, director of AfDB’s department in charge Fragile Sates.

In fact, fragility has significant spill-over effects that can put at risk the development prospects of entire regions. Therefore, this strategy adopts a new conceptual approach by focusing on fragile situations instead of fragile states and approaches fragility from a regional perspective.

Grounded in the AfDB Group’s Ten Year Strategy and the principles of the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States (Busan 2011), the proposed approach is country-led and relies on strong partnerships and strategic alliances.

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