Liberia: Liberia Hosts Major International Confab
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka will today lead a high Panel of experts today to craft a new approach on how to help fragile states.
Fragile states include countries emerging from conflicts and those in same. 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 said to be major constraints to Africa’s development. While the continent has generally enjoyed an economic growth rate of 5% 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 neighborhood,” said Kaberuka in establishing the panel.
Key speakers at the meeting today include: President Sirleaf; Mr. Kaberuka; author of The Bottom Billion and The Plundered Planet, Professor Paul Collier; Minister of Finance of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, Emilia Pires; Co-founder and Executive Director of the Institute of Security Studies, Jakkie Cilliers; and Founder and Executive Director of the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), Vasu Gounden. The AfDB Group established this special Panel to advise the institution on expanding its strategy for engaging with fragile states.
The eight-member High-Level Panel is led by President Sirleaf and includes eminent persons who 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.
The Panel has as its mandate: to consult with affected countries, regional economic communities and the African Union, development partners, civil society and other stakeholders; lead the AfDB’s strategic thinking on engagement with fragile, post-conflict and conflict countries; and conduct outreach to communicate the Bank’s committed approach to countries in situations of fragility and post-conflict.
Following its deliberations, the Panel will report to AfDB President Kaberuka 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 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.
Members of the High-Level Panel on Fragile States include: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, as Chair; Special Representative and Director of the World Development Report on Conflict, Security and Development, United Nations, Sarah Cliffe; Deputy Director-General for Field and Partnerships, International Labour Office (ILO), Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo; Special Envoy on Gender, African Development Bank, Geraldine Frasier-Moleketi; Professor, Georgetown University, Callisto Madavo; Director of Brenthurst Foundation, Greg Mills; Director of African