Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, and Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank Group, launched a special high-level panel on fragile states in Monrovia on September 2, 2013. The panel seeks to answer the question, “How can we truly build peace and set a course for prosperity in Africa’s fragile states?”
Conflict and fragility are major constraints to Africa’s development. While the African continent generally has enjoyed an economic growth rate of 5 per cent over the last decade, fragile countries and those in conflict have not benefitted. Globally, GDP per capita is $945, but in fragile states, it hovers at only about a third of that, around $333. Addressing this challenge is a top priority for the African Development Bank.
“With the help of President Ellen Johson 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 neighbourhood,” said Kaberuka in establishing the panel.
The 60 participants at the launch included 13 ministries of finance and planning, and senior representatives from international organizations and civil society. They came from the Central African Republic, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Sao Tomé, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Timor-Leste, and Togo.
From 2009-2011, the African Development Bank approved $2.5 billion for fragile states. It is currently expanding its strategy for engaging in fragile states. The high level panel on fragile states guides that work.