Africa Needs Inclusive Transformation to Build

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Liberia’s Finance Minister Amara Konneh has said that in order for countries to build resilience to combat fragility, Africa needs a transformation based on inclusive growth for its people. 

Addressing a high-level panel on fragile states at the World Bank Group’s office in Washington D. C., on Thursday, Konneh said that improved management of the natural wealth, robust and effective responses to youth unemployment, urbanization, and climate change, is Africa’s best hope in tackling fragility and economic development.

Standing in for Liberia’s President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Minister Konneh stressed the need for a new paradigm of partnership that would go beyond the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) — one that stresses shared values, ownership, and national responsibility.

In a dispatch from the US, Tuesday, April 15, Konneh observed that the consolidation of peace and stability in any country is intimately linked to efforts that spur sustainable economic development and inclusive growth. “A clear example of the peace dividend can be seen in the positive transformation of Africa in the last decade,” he registered.

Addressing the panel, themed: Ending Conflict and Building Peace in Africa—a Call to Action’—Konneh said peace and stability in Liberia has created the necessary conditions for investment and has engendered economic development and social transformation.

“2013 was a landmark year for the people of Liberia, as we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ushered in a decade of quiet peace,” he added.

According to him, Liberia achieved a milestone in 2013 when she began the implementation of the National Vision 2030—the guiding principle that underpins the government’s national development initiatives over a 20-year period—out of which the government constructed its Agenda for Transformation—a medium-term economic growth and development strategy—and a Strategic Roadmap for National Healing, Peace-building and Reconciliation.

Minister Konneh used the occasion to formally introduce two of the panel’s members: Sarah Cliffe, Special Advisor and Assistant Secretary-General of Civilian Capacities to the United Nations, and Callisto Madavo, Professor to the African Studies Program at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

The high-level event, chaired by African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka, presented the findings of: Ending Conflict and Building Peace in Africa—A Call to Action; it comprised a panel-report on fragile states in Africa. Panelists discussed the best way to form new partnerships that support African states as they build the basis for reconciliation, peace, and prosperity.

Minister Konneh shared the panel with World Bank Vice President African Region, Makhtar Diop, Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Pekka Haavisto, Minister for International Development of Finland, and Emira Peres, Minister of Finance, East-Temor and Chairperson of the G7+ member nations.

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