POST CONFLICT RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA Overview of major gaps, challenges and efforts to address them
The significance of the Post Conflict Reconstruction Challenge in Africa • PCRD, although a global issue, is of particular relevance to Africa as it: • Directly and indirectly affects more than 1/3rd of Africa’s population; • Affects more countries than in any other continent; • Compounds and complicates existing; inequalities, injustices and underdevelopment; • Is a hindrance to sustainable peace and socio-economic progress; • Many countries relapse into conflict due to weak PCRD;
Strategic challenges in PCRD & Peace Building in Africa • Three strategic challenges identified, end 2004 beginning 2005: • Absence of a comprehensive, strategic and authoritative policy framework; • Disproportionate focus on some aspects of PCRD and neglect of a wide range of crucial issues; • Weak African institutional & human resource capacity for strategic planning, coordination, implementation & monitoring;
PCRD Sub-Cluster’s efforts to help address these challenges • Sub-Cluster resolved to align its work plan to help AU address 3 major challenges and decided to: • Actively support AU’s effort to develop, disseminate and implement a comprehensive and strategic PCRD policy; • Compile comprehensive preliminary assessment reports on status of recovery and reconstruction in 12 post conflict countries; • Support AU’s effort to strengthen/create institutional & coordination mechanisms, build strategic capacity & mobilize support for its activities
Strategic Policy Gap Addressed • During its 7th Ordinary Session in Sirte, Libya, the Executive Council decided that such a policy should be developed; • In September 2005 members of PSC & other AU members held brainstorming retreat in Durban, South Africa – endorsed initial draft • AU PSC endorsed recommendations of Durban brainstorming retreat; • Extensive consultations b/n AU Member States and partners on draft; • Policy Adopted in Banjul, the Gambia in July 2006
The AU PCRD Policy: • Confirmed AU’s political resolve to comprehensively address PCRD; • Defined PCRD and determined its scope including triggers and its end-state; • Set-out principles that will guide PCRD; • Identified 6 indicative elements; • Laid out plan for key mechanisms & processes; • Identified broad roles & responsibilities of major actors; • Provided key benchmarks and standards;
Implementing the PCRD Policy • Strategic implementation plan developed following policy’s adoption. Plan focuses on: • Policy’s dissemination & enlisting of support of all actors and partners; • Establishment of AU-level mechanisms for strategic planning, oversight, coordination & monitoring; • Development of operational guidelines to facilitate country-level implementation; • Establishment of database of African PCRD experts and AU Volunteers programme; • Setting up of AU PCRD fund
Assessment of country-level PCRD activities, needs and gaps • Sub-Cluster decided to compile assessment reports in 12 countries to provide comprehensive but succinct information on status of recovery & reconstruction, identify needs & gaps & offer preliminary recommendations; • Reports on Angola, Burundi, CAR, Cote d’Ivoire, Chad, DRC, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Uganda ready. Rwanda & Somalia by end 2007. • Africa-wide synthesis report to be prepared by mid-2008.
Brief overview of major needs & gaps identified by country reports • Security • Insecurity, intimidation, exploitation, exclusion of some segments of society continue even after peace agreement; • Impunity and lawlessness leaves former victims and vulnerable groups unprotected; • Poor implementation of DDRR with less attention to its “RR” elements; • Weak to no security sector reform resulting in little attention to Human Security; • Continued proliferation of small arms & light weapons; • Limited mine-action leaving civilians at its mercy;
Major needs & gaps - continued • Physical, legal and administrative insecurity hampering the return of refugees, IDPs; • Lack of food, access to water, sanitation, health, education services discouraging return & reintegration; • Inability to rebuild livelihoods frustrating reintegration and rehabilitation; • Secondary and low-level conflict continue to cause displacement;
Major needs & gaps - continued • Political Governance & Transition • Weak state institutions and lack of capacity limit ability to provide administrative and public services; • Low morale, low productivity, red-tape and corruption in the civil service; • Electoral bodies lacking capacity & independence to discharge responsibility; • Limited voter education hampers effective exercise of rights; • Legitimacy of election results questioned due to perceived manipulation, intimidation of voters & candidates;
Major needs & gaps - continued • Human Rights, Justice & Reconciliation • Redress for victims of abuses not assured as impunity prevails; • Abuses continue to be perpetrated on women, children, other vulnerable groups even after end of conflict; • Newly constituted security bodies have little training, capacity to protect human rights – soldiers & combatants converted to civilian police with little or no training; • Shortage of human resources, low training & remuneration limits justice sector’s ability to ensure justice;
Major needs & gaps - continued • Limited or weak effort on national reconciliation leaving root causes unaddressed; • Traditional and grass-root reconciliation mechanisms destroyed or lost legitimacy due to polarization during conflict; • Humanitarian, Socio-Economic Recovery • Inability to ensure food security due to insecurity; low productivity, absence of inputs, land mines etc.; • Destroyed or dilapidated infrastructure resulting in little or no basic services – water, clinics, hospitals, schools, courts, roads, offices;
Major needs & gaps - continued • Socio-economic recovery • Inability of state to collect revenue & effectively manage public finances hampering investment in basic services & infrastructure; • State lack of capacity to plan and implement macro-economic policies; • Low national and foreign investment; • High unemployment and low productivity; • War economies and illegal exploitation of natural resources depriving national economy; • Weakened private sector unable to effectively contribute to economic recovery
Major needs & gaps - continued • Women and gender: women and girls, who face disproportionate suffering during conflict continue to face serious challenges in the post-conflict period including: • Insecurity from armed groups and former perpetrators of SGBV; • Inability to reclaim property lost during conflict; • Lack of access to rebuild livelihoods such as skills development, employment and credit facilities; • Heavy burden to care for children the elderly; • Inability to participate in political processes and achieve political power
Recommendations • Expedite establishment of mechanisms and processes at AU, RECs level as foreseen in PCRD Policy; • Adapt the PCRD Policy to situations at REC and national level; • Engage development actors & international financial institutions (ADB, World Bank etc) in PCRD effort; • Develop comprehensive programme for capacity building at AU level to augment national REC-level efforts; • Create effective linkages & coordination between UN PB Commission and AU PCRD efforts; • Consider establishing PCRD or “Peace” Fund to address PCRD needs of civilians & finance activities critical for sustaining the peace.