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High-Level Panel on Fragile States

The African Development Bank has established a special panel to advise the institution on expanding its strategy for engaging with fragile states.

The High Level Panel on Fragile States is led by the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The eight eminent members have extensive experience with state fragility in Africa and its impact on development. State fragility remains a major constraint to Africa’s development and addressing it is a top priority for the Bank.

“With the help of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and a group of experts, we are crafting a new approach to help such countries to recover much faster and to minimize the impact on the neighborhood,” AfDB President Donald Kaberuka said.

Due to the dynamic nature of conflict and crises on the continent, support to fragile states must address the roots of fragility while assistance to fragile sates must take the regional dimensions of fragility into account. The panel will provide expert guidance on targeted assistance, beyond financial support, to accelerate state-building and peace-building.

”We believe that the special circumstances of fragile states need to be addressed. They are simply not the same as countries that are normal. The capacity of fragile states is weak, resources are scarce, and the imperatives of urgency are more intense because whatever you do is to ensure that you begin to consolidate those gains and begin to deliver to people in a much more timely fashion to manage expectations to prevent any chance of slipping back into conflict,” President Johnson Sirleaf said recently.

The High Level Panel on Fragile States will report to the President of the African Development Bank with recommendations on how to expand the Bank’s leadership and operational support to fragile states, assist countries at risk of slipping into “fragility-traps,” and equip the Bank to better address the regional dimensions of fragility and conflict.

The panel’s mandate is to:

  • Consult with affected countries, regional economic communities and the African Union, development partners, civil society and other stakeholders.
  • Lead the African Development Bank’s strategic thinking on engagement with fragile, post-conflict and conflict countries.
  • Conduct outreach to communicate the Bank’s committed approach to countries in situations of fragility and post conflict.

The final product of the Panel shall be a report that will contain recommendations, actions, policies and strategies that could be pursued by the Bank in order to further improve its development effectiveness in fragile states.