The world marked International Day of Peace on 21 September 2023. This year’s theme is Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals, which the UN describes as a call to action for collective and individual efforts to foster peace. The African Development Bank Group has forged partnerships that underscore a commitment to achieving the Global Goals through innovative strategies that harness market forces to promote peace and sustainable development in fragile and conflict-affected regions of Africa. On this day, the Bank Group is proud to highlight the benefits of these partnerships.
The Bank Group’s commitment to peacebuilding is evident in its 2022-2026 Strategy for Addressing Fragility and Building Resilience, which emphasizes investments in crisis prevention and private sector development. Our collaboration with the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office demonstrates our pivotal role in peace processes throughout Africa. An example of this is an assessment of fragility and resilience in the Mano River Union sub-region, which the Bank Group carried out with the United Nations and the Mano River Union Secretariat. The findings of that assessment are captured in a report, Consolidating Peace Dividends Amid Persistent Challenges(link is external), which provides valuable insights into regional fragility and resilience factors.
Advocating for closer integration of peace, security and development
In the lead-in to the African Resilience Forum (2023), with its focus on Financing Security, Peace, and Development for a Resilient Africa, the Bank Group's collaboration with Interpeace's Finance for Peace Initiative(link is external) (F4P) offers hope in the search for new and innovative approaches. The two institutions are launching F4P in northern Mozambique to build up experience and case studies on how peace impact frameworks(link is external) and standards(link is external) can be integrated into development financing to advance peace. The initiative also presents peace as a thematic investment area for public and private investors.
African Development Bank-funded projects, including those in Guinea Bissau, Sudan, and South Sudan, have immense potential to contribute directly to building peace by tackling vulnerability, direct violence, resource conflicts, and by promoting stability. Bank projects also address interpersonal violence and resource conflict, while promoting equitable access to basic services, with a focus on gender and intergenerational equity. The Bank Group remains committed to mainstreaming peace considerations into our lending and non-lending activities and thus we maximize our contribution to a peaceful and resilient continent.
In partnership with the World Economic Forum’s Humanitarian and Resilience Investing(link is external), the African Development Bank supports the mobilisation of private capital in fragile contexts. To strengthen the resilience of vulnerable communities and economies, the Bank Group ensures that these investments are designed with a positive approach to peace. With a view to large-scale mobilisation, the Bank is leading the development of the the Security-Indexed Investment Bonds initiative, which aims to provide substantial financing for peace and security efforts in Africa. The initiative addresses the root causes of conflict, including climate change, and sets a precedent for aligning development financing instruments with peace and security objectives.
Similarly, the Africa Disaster Risk Financing Programme, in partnership with the Africa Risk Capacity Group, expands and diversifies the pan-African pool of risk guarantees in various countries to strengthen resilience in the face of climate challenges. Through the engagement of civil society, the African Development Bank's strategic focus increases capacity, consultation, knowledge sharing and joint operations at the local level. This fosters community resilience and reduces inequality and marginalisation.
The Bank Group's partnership with the Peace Dividend Initiative(link is external) highlights the potential of entrepreneurship to help build peace. This innovative, ecosystem-based approach acknowledges the potential of market-based solutions in fragile contexts and enables communities to move towards prosperity and stability, with a particular focus on empowering youth and women.
As the world celebrates the International Day of Peace, the African Development Bank Group's partnerships demonstrate its unwavering commitment to shaping a more peaceful, resilient and prosperous Africa.