President of Liberia and President of African Development Bank set new course for prosperity in Africa’s fragile states

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% 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.

Members of the High Level Panel

Chair: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia

Sarah Cliffe, Special Representative & Director, World Development Report-Conflict, Security & Development, United Nations

Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, Deputy Director-General for field and partnerships, International Labour Organization

Geraldine Frasier-Moleketi, Special Envoy on Gender, African Development Bank

Callisto Madavo, Professor, Georgetown University

Greg Mills, Director of Brenthurst Foundation

Rakiya Omaar, Director of African Rights

Dame Barbara Stocking, President, Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge

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