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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.