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

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.9098
    JPY
    USD
    105.75
    GBP
    USD
    0.7631
    CAD
    USD
    1.3189
    INR
    USD
    67.209

    Rates may not be current.