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African Development Bank appoints three High-Level Advisors on Fragility


The African Development Bank’s new Strategy for Addressing Fragility and Building Resilience for the period 2014–2019 aims to place the Bank at the centre of Africa’s efforts to pave the way for a more resilient and inclusive development trajectory. Enhancing the Bank’s leadership role in policy dialogue, partnerships and advocacy around issues of fragility is critical in this process. Strategic partnerships in areas that are essential to overcoming fragility but that are outside its core mandate, such as justice and security, will enable the Bank access important information and share its knowledge in such matters.

For the Bank to deliver on addressing fragility there is a need to systematically and continuously engage with the Regional Member Countries at the highest level possible. High-calibre individuals who have relevant knowledge, political influence, excellent reputation and strong networks among African policy-makers will enhance the Bank’s capacity and ability to demonstrate thought leadership on issues of fragility. The work of the High Level Panel on Fragile States in 2014 provided greater insights into the characteristics, manifestations and threats of fragility. Also, noted was that the capacities and resources of affected states and societies vary significantly hence the need for adapting to each context and focus on key entry points.

Acknowledging the need for the Bank’s leadership role in policy dialogue, advisory and advocacy on issues of fragility, three high-level advisors have been recruited to cover one region each. These are Callisto Madavo, Mano River Union; Tertius Zongo, Sahel Region; and Gunilla Carlsson, Horn of Africa. These individuals have extensive knowledge and experience in engaging at high levels within Africa and are expected to contribute to the Bank’s strategic engagement with its member countries.

Callisto Madavo, Mano River Union

Callisto Madavo has extensive experience in development work covering many sectors across three continents: Africa, Asia and Latin America. He worked at the World Bank for over three decades where he rose to senior level positions including Program Division Chief for Pakistan, Country Director for East Africa and Country Director for East Asia. Prior to his retirement from the Bank he served for eight years as Vice-President for Africa, leading the Banks’ programs and dialogue with senior officials across Sub-Saharan Africa, championing such issues as infrastructure, capacity building, HIV/AIDS, etc. Since his retirement he has been a visiting professor in the African Studies Program at Georgetown University. He has also served as advisor/consultant to international organizations and on the Boards of several non-profit organisations as well as think tanks. He is currently Chairman of the Executive Board of the African Capacity Building Foundation. 

Gunilla Carlsson, Horn of Africa

Gunilla Carlsson was an elected Member of Swedish Parliament and Minister of International Development Cooperation 2006-2013. Her career in politics include; First Vice-Chair of the Conservative Party, Member of European Parliament 1995-2002, Vice-Chair of the European Peoples Party (EPP), Member of the World Bank Gender Advisory Council, Chair of the Swedish-initiated Commission on Climate Change and Development ahead of Copenhagen 2009. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed her to the High-Level Panel for Global Sustainability ahead of the Conference in Rio de Janeiro in 2012 and also to the High-Level Panel for Global Development Goals post-2015. Carlsson is an unaffiliated member of the GAVI board and part of the advisory board of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Europe. She is also a member of European Center for Foreign Relations.

Tertius Zongo, Sahel Region

Tertius Zongo served as Prime Minister and Head of Government of Burkina Faso from 2007 until 2011 and as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States of America. Previously, he held positions as Minister of State for Planning and Budget and Minister of Economy and Finance. On this account, he was the Governor of Burkina Faso to the major international financial institutions. At the sub-regional level, he has, in his capacity as Statutory Minister at the Council of Ministers of the West African Economic and Monetary Union, played a key role in designing the framework of the regional integration policies. At the national level, under his leadership, Burkina Faso adopted in 2000 its Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper and, in 2010, its Strategy for Accelerated Growth and Sustainable Development. Zongo carried on academic activities at the University of Ouagadougou and the National School of Financial Control. He has published many articles and is currently an independent consultant.

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