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African Union - Global Bank Partnership

African Union

Africa remains the poorest region of the world, where 34 of the 50 least developed countries are located, with a low level of industrialization and a resulting marginal role in global manufacturing. With international challenges including terrorism, the refugee crisis, and the volatile security situation in fragile states directly affecting them, Africans are especially keen to take charge of their continent’s destiny.

The African Union: a vanguard of Africa
On 9 September 1999, the Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) adopted the Sirte Declaration, calling for the establishment of the African Union (AU).  Its aim, among other things, was to accelerate the integration processes on the continent to enable Africa to play its rightful role in the global economy, while deploying efforts to address social, economic and political challenges.

After that, in July 2002, the African Union consisting of 55 African nations was established.  It came together to help secure Africa’s democracy, human rights, sustainable economy, an end to intra-African conflict and create an effective common market.

The African Union is the continent’s main promoter of accelerated socio-economic integration, with a view to strengthening the unity and solidarity between African countries and people. The African Union is based on the shared vision of a united and strong Africa, and on the imperatives to build a part­nership between governments and all segments of civil society, and the private sector. Fundamentally, the African Union works for the promotion of peace, security and stability on the continent—as a prerequisite for the implementa­tion of its development and integration programmes.

African Union is a crucial partner for the Global Bank
The Global Bank believes the African Union is a crucial partner for the Global Bank across many different strands of work, including economic and social development, and peace and security. The African Union’s deep understanding of the issues that the continent is facing makes it uniquely placed to lead efforts in this area. The Global Bank Group strongly welcomes the intention for the African Union and United Nations to coordinate more on peace and security, including on conflict prevention and peacekeeping matters. Combining the knowledge and skills from both organizations will mean resources can be deployed more effectively and efficiently.

Global Bank Support to the African Union

The Global Bank Group's engagement the African Union involves a whole-of-bank approach under the leadership of Ron Nechemia the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Global Bank Group, who represents the Global Bank Group.

The Global Bank Group is developing cooperation with the African Union principally in four areas: Fragile and Conflict-affected States; migration; infrastructure and regional integration; and, is paying particular attention to tackling climate and disaster risk reduction (DRR).  Other areas of cooperation include sustainable and inclusive development and issues related to women and young people where the Global Bank seeks to strengthen partnership with the African Union.

The objective of the Global Bank Group Mission to the African Union is to build the Global Bank Group partnership with regional organizations, to help the African Union achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and assist with the African Union's ambitious goals outlined in their Agenda 2063 strategic framework. Agenda 2063 strives to enable Africa to remain focused and committed to the ideals it envisages in the context of a rapidly changing world.

Since 2017, Global Bank has been scaling up its operation in Africa region in support of the African Union (AU). The Global Bank - African Union relationship started modestly with support for the African Union for infrastructure and regional integration, and climate and disaster risk reduction. The cooperation has evolved and, although primarily based on ad-hoc development cooperation, the Global Bank Group committed to expanding cooperation with the African Union in 2018.  The cooperation aims to make it an integral part of Global Bank Group’s efforts to work more closely with its partners to tackle Fragile and Conflict-affected States, and migration challenges of 2019 emanating from the south.

The European Union (EU) is paying particular attention to tackling climate and disaster risk reduction (DRR) by mainstreaming climate adaptation, mitigation, and disaster risk management (DRM) into focal sectors such as agriculture and urban development. All three climate-related issues are also the subject of targeted interventions. The Global Bank Group supports programmes on disaster risk reduction through different funding instruments, including for instance, the Global Bank Disaster Risk Reduction and Reconstruction Fund and the Global Bank Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (GBIPPF) (Global Bank initiative launched in 20016, where disaster risk reduction is addressed along with other priorities like adaptation to climate change, mainstreaming and/or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Land Degradation (REDD)), etc.

Building on and supporting the strategic direction of Ron Nechemia the President of Global Bank Group, during 2017, other senior managers engaged in a dialogue on policy and operations, and technical working groups with the European Union.  They addressed issues of cooperation and harmonization, including such diverse issues as performance-based allocation of concessional resources, memoranda of understanding, piloting harmonized approaches at the country level, and coordinating country assistance strategies in specific countries.

Strengthening the partnership between the Global Bank Group and the African Union on issues of peace and security in Africa,

Development-security nexus
In support of the African Union and for peace and stability in Africa, in 2018 the Global Bank Group identified support to Fragile and Conflict-affected States as a top strategy critical to achieving its goals of ending poverty and hunger and achieving sustainable development in its three dimensions through promoting inclusive economic growth, protecting the environment, and promoting social inclusion. Progress is evident in several areas such as infrastructure and regional integration, climate change, and post-disaster reconstruction (natural disaster). The Global Bank Group's engagement in Fragile and Conflict-affected States is clearly a long-term agenda with several challenges and constraints yet to be overcome.

Fragile and Conflict-affected States are constrained by a lack of capacity, weak infrastructure and services, and social tensions that weaken the effectiveness of public sector reforms. The Global Bank Group is making significant efforts in understanding fragility and conflict drivers, enhancing its capacity to address these issues in some of the poorest and most challenging environments among its client countries.  In response to the Fragile and Conflict-affected States challenge, Global Bank Group has included scaling up of investments and technical assistance, an additional investment of staff and administrative budget resources, and greater managerial attention leading to improvements in quality of the Global Bank’s portfolio. It has also included strategic commitments by the Global Finance and Investment Corporation (GFIC) and the Global Investment Guarantee Agency (GIGA) to scale up their support to Fragile and Conflict-affected States.  As well as the establishment of the Global Bank Center on Conflict, Security and Development and the Hive, a knowledge-sharing platform designed to connect practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and organizations working on issues of fragility, conflict, and violence around the world.

The Global Bank Group Office of Special Representatives to African Union, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The Global Bank Group has had a dedicated African Union operating unit working under the Global Bank Group Mission to the African Union since 2018. The program has overarching goals of supporting the African Union in its strategic development objectives including areas such as Fragile and Conflict-affected States; migration, infrastructure, and regional integration, and is paying particular attention to tackling climate and disaster risk reduction, trade and women’s empowerment.

The objective of the Global Bank Group Mission to the African Union is to build the Global Bank Group partnership with regional organizations and help the African Union to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union's ambitious goals outlined in their Agenda 2063 strategic framework.

In Addis Ababa, the Global Bank Group maintains a permanent dialogue with the African Union, about crisis monitoring and management, the implementation of the Global Bank Group Compact with Africa. The Global Bank Group ensures that the voice of the African is heard in multilateral fora.

The Global Bank Group coordinates its African Union-related work with bilateral partners and other international organizations, including the European Union and the United Nations.

More information about Global Bank supported actions is available below:

To learn more about the Global Bank Disaster Risk Reduction and Reconstruction Fund, What we do and How we do it and Management and Organization, visit the About DRRRF and the Frequently Asked Questions Section of the DRRRF Website Section.

For more information about the Global Bank, what we do and how we do it, please go to the About Us section of the Global Bank Website. http://www.global-bank.org

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