The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a new strategy for addressing fragility and building resilience in Africa.
The strategy, to run from 2022 to 2026, offer a roadmap for building more resilient institutions, economies, and societies across the continent.
It is understood that the strategy identifies three interconnected and mutually reinforcing priorities, namely, strengthening institutional capacity, building resilient societies and catalysing private investment.
‘While looking at fragility as a condition that can arise in any context, the strategy details how the bank group will adapt its operations and instruments to tackle the root causes of conflict and fragility, recognising the need to scale up investment in crisis prevention’, AfDB said in a statement.
‘It is anchored in a theory of change that links measures to strengthen the bank group’s capacity and portfolio to deliver better results in fragile contexts with an end goal of increasing resilience in Africa’.
Significant parts of Africa have been found to be vulnerable to instability and crisis. The Covid-19 pandemic and the effects of climate change have further underscored that fragility.
Small-scale farmers in East Africa, for example, grapple with recurrent drought in some areas and floods in others. Populations in the Great Lakes region struggle with chronic displacement from conflict and insecurity.
Other parts of Africa also grapple with food insecurity and desertification, environmental health hazards and displacement due to overcrowding, poor sanitation, and flooding.
Data from the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) shows that vulnerable populations across Africa continue to contend with recurrent crises and stresses that leave them in a cycle of fragility and risk and unable to expand economic opportunities or to improve well-being.
‘This is an ambitious yet realistic strategy, grounded firmly in the bank’s comparative advantage, unique mandate, and position within Africa’s development architecture’, AfDB’s Vice President, Yacine Fal, said.
‘It will reinvigorate and scale up the bank’s engagement on fragility in Africa by making its full suite of operations and instruments more effective at preventing crises and building resilience’.
AfDB also revealed that the progress of the strategy will be tracked through a results measurement and reporting framework and a mid-term review.
Photo source: Michael Fleshman