News / Economy

    Report: Africa's Economic Prosperity at Risk From Instability

    Report: Africa's Economic Prosperity at Risk From Instabilityi
    X
    Mariama Diallo
    April 15, 2014 9:46 PM
    The head of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, says achieving economic progress does not just depend on having impressive numbers of GDP growth, high rise buildings or first class highways. For development institutions like his and others looking to promote growth, they must also consider political factors. VOA's Mariama Diallo explains.
    Mariama Diallo
    The head of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, says achieving economic progress does not just depend on having impressive numbers of GDP growth, high-rise buildings or first-class highways.  For development institutions like his and others looking to promote growth, they must also consider political factors.  

    When recent fighting erupted in South Sudan, the African Development Bank had just approved a $25 million electricity project.  Neither Bank President Donald Kaberuka nor his staff saw the conflict coming.
     
    Kaberuka says when conflicts erupt in countries, the bank's financing of development projects has to start all over again.     

    "We did finance development in Somalia.  We built roads, hospitals, but the country went back to shambles.  I had an office in Bangui.  We had offices in Juba, but when we go back to square one, I’ll be going further than my traditional mandate of economics and development.  I’ll be looking closely at the political economy of the countries," said Kaberuka.

    In a recent report on the so-called fragile states of Africa, Kaberuka said Bank managers have not taken political risks into account when making development decisions.

    “We [the report] concluded that fragility is a big risk for Africa.  We looked at stable countries which suddenly erupt either because of bad elections, corruption," he said.  "We found that each one of our countries is at risk and by extension, Africa’s own prosperity at the moment is at risk."

    That sustainable development cannot be achieved without security was one of the key themes of the EU-Africa Summit that took place recently in Brussels.

    Since 2004, the EU has provided more than $1.6 billion to support peacekeeping missions like AMISOM in Somalia and MISCA in the Central African Republic.

    EU institutions have also pledged almost $39 billion for development assistance for Africa in the next seven years.  

    Andris Piebalgs, the EU Commissioner for Development, says 70 percent of those funds will go to less developed nations, based on specific criteria, including a measure of per capita income.

    “So if a country is richer, it gets less.  For example, Gabon.  The second is vulnerability, meaning if the country is more landlocked or has some structural weaknesses and also gets more," said Piebalgs.

    The commissioner also says that some countries are doing better.

    “I would take Ethiopia and Rwanda where basically our support managed to bring countries to new levels of development," he said. "They are still very poor countries but they are moving.  Are there risks? Yes there are, but I think in these politics [political situations], no one is safe. Let’s take Europe."

    Piebalgs points to what is happening now in Ukraine, which he says no one foresaw.

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.8812
    JPY
    USD
    112.18
    GBP
    USD
    0.6939
    CAD
    USD
    1.3961
    INR
    USD
    68.436

    Rates may not be current.