The Transition Support Department (ORTS) of the African Development Bank kicked off Day 1 of the Bank’s 2015 Annual Meetings on Monday, May 25 by hosting the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding’s (IDPS) 2014 New Deal Monitoring Report (NDMR) launch. The IDPS was created in 2008 to provide a platform on which countries facing fragility could have an equal voice with development partners in setting the peace-building and state-building agenda.
The International Dialogue subsequently launched the “New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States” (New Deal) in 2011, which was endorsed by over 40 countries and international organizations, to overhaul practices and policies for dealing with countries facing fragility. This is to be achieved through a multifaceted approach, pursuing five Peacebuilding and State-building Goals: 1) Inclusive Politics; 2) Security; 3) Justice; 4) Economic Foundations; 5) Revenues and Services.
The discussion was led by moderator Daniel Makokera, and a high-level panel comprising the two co-chairs of IDPS, Isabella Lövin, Minister of the Swedish International Development Cooperation; and Kaifala Marah, Minister of Finance and Economic Development of Sierra Leone. The other panelists were Emilia Pires, the Special Envoy of the g7+, an association of 20 fragile and conflict afflicted countries; Denisa Ionete, Head of the Fragility and Crisis Management Division of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Development Cooperation; Paul Okumu, the Head of the Secretariat of Civil Society Forum, Africa Platform; and Sibry Tapsoba, Director of ORTS.
The informative and productive session centered on the progress made in implementing the New Deal (ND), as well as ways forward. Minister Lövin commenced by stating that many countries, including members of the g7+ as founding parties of both the IDPS and the ND, were unfamiliar with the ND. The Lövin conceded that achieving the PSGs would require a long-term approach. Minister Marah similarly remarked that countries facing fragility still had some “unlearning” to do, explaining that business could no longer proceed as usual, but also noting that capacity had to be built to allow countries to transition from fragility to resilience. This was a view shared by Sibry Tapsoba, who also encouraged development partners to join the Bank in abandoning the use of the stigmatizing label of “fragile states”, in favour of “fragile situations”, and focusing on the opportunities for such countries.
Despite the slow progress in the implementation of the ND, some successes were highlighted, particularly the increased cooperation between the government and the civil society, identified as a key player by the ND framework. The meeting, thus, ended on a positive note, with stakeholders also mindful of the numerous and ambitious tasks still to be implemented, and with a call for future meetings to focus on sharing and learning from actions on the ground.
The launch of the NDMR marks the first out of three of ORTS’ events during the Bank’s 50th Annual Meeting. The other two event are “Development and Security: Dealing with New Threats” on Tuesday, May 26, and the “Launch of the AfDB/World Bank Group Joint Post-Ebola Economic Response Program” on Wednesday, May 27.
For more information about the AfDB Annual Meetings, visit www.afdb.org/am,