(AfDB) - The African Development Bank’s Transition States Coordination Office organized a training workshop in Yaoundé to strengthen the capacity of Regional Member Countries and Regional Economic Communities on the Strategic and Operational Application of the Fragility Lens.
The training was led by Bank staff from several departments with support from the Bank’s Central Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office. It provided a platform to reinvigorate the Bank’s engagement in fragile settings; mobilized support to successfully deliver on the fragility agenda; and scaled up coordination of initiatives that promote community resilience, particularly regarding institutional capacity, regional stability, and private sector development. Over 60 delegates from 25 African countries and five Regional Economic Communities attended the training.
Serge N’Guessan, Managing Director of the African Development Bank Central African region, Director Yero Baldeh of the Transition States Coordination Office and Dorothy Bekolo, Cameroon government’s director of regional integration, on behalf of the minister of economy, planning and regional development, chaired the opening session. Barbara Schuler, head of the humanitarian aid section at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), represented the Swiss ambassador Pietro Lazzeri. SDC, a strategic partner to the African Development Bank in tackling fragility, sponsored the event.
Bekolo said, “The combined effects of fragility factors and the negative impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic, which continue to affect vulnerable groups, require stronger partnerships and a coordinated approach between the African Development Bank Group, Regional Member Countries and Regional Economic Communities to reverse the trend and build long-term resilience”.
“The partnership between the African Development Bank and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation since 2015 has been mutually beneficial as the insights gained allowed to promote and integrate fragility and resilience programming,” said Schuler.
N’Guessan and Baldeh stressed that fragility could occur in any context, even in countries with strong and stable institutions. They urged participants to heed the lessons of the training as they set national development priorities to mitigate the impacts of fragility.
Participants received training on the role that African Development Bank complexes and departments play in promoting development in fragile settings. Representatives of participating Regional Economic Communities presented on the importance of setting up regional early warning & response systems for crisis prevention.
Following the training, participants developed and shared with the Bank Group action plans to sustain policy dialogue and capacity building on the annual CRFA exercise.