Infrastructure development and financing, gender, youth and fragile states are at the top of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) agenda during the 22nd Annual African Union Summit and pre-Summit activities in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which run from January 24 to February 1.
This year’s Summit, which officially opens on Thursday, January 30, focuses on agriculture and food security, but the burning issues of peace and stability in Africa remain underlying themes. It is against this backdrop that the AfDB’s High Level Panel on Fragile States launches its final report, “Ending conflict and building peace in Africa: A call to action”, after almost one year of consultations.
The report makes recommendation on overcoming fragility and building stability and resilience through partnerships. The High Level Panel, chaired by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, also calls for a more active leadership role for the Bank in issues of conflict and fragility. AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka, joins Johnson Sirleaf and other high-profile panel members, including AfDB’s Special Envoy on Gender, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, in a press conference on the report on the opening day.
In several pre-Summit meetings, including the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC), the AfDB was commended for its work in infrastructure development on the continent, with a special mention of the Bank’s innovative Africa50 Fund, which aims to speed up the financing of infrastructure on the continent.
Another highlight of this year’s summit and pre-Summit activities was the joint AfDB- African Union Commission signature for an $8.6 million three-year capacity building grant to help African countries accelerate the delivery of infrastructure projects.
Fraser-Moleketi attended several key pre-Summit events, including the launch of the Great Lakes Women’s Platform, an initiative to assist women in post-conflict Democratic Republic of Congo. Other senior managers attended meetings on the African Review Mechanism, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development and Council for Infrastructure Development.
AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka, was to attend the Opening Ceremony, a youth forum organized by the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation and the launch of the High Level Panel report, in addition to several bilateral meetings, and the African Solidarity Initiative Conference for Mobilizing Support for Countries Emerging from Conflict in Africa.
Each year the Summit is attended by African Heads of State and Foreign Ministers, along with leaders of international organizations and the national, regional and international media.