Capacity building in fragile & post-conflict states in Africa

Alemayehu Geda, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Abstract: Capacity building in fragile and post-conflict situations is specially challenging for policy makers in that it represents a situation that needs to be carefully managed. Understanding the dynamic link between capacity building and conflict requires understanding the nature and determinants of conflicts, their duration, intensity and the modalities for their cessation and post-conflict reconstruction. This study attempted to do that from systemic or theoretical perspective. A major common theme that runs across the literature is that post-conflict recovery and sustainable development and the associated capacity building exercise in Africa need to have the following four feature: (1) first a broad development planning framework with a fairly long-time horizon and an overarching objective of poverty reduction; (2) second, social policy-making in such countries is expected to be distinct from non-conflict countries. This signals the need to articulate country specific policies and (3) third, intervention in such states requires a high volume of aid flows and (4) forth it need to be preceded by deeper understanding of African societies by donors. This study by outlining such basic issues from theoretical perspective resorted to an outline of three core areas of capacity building that are needed in post-conflict and fragile states: capacity building to address immediate needs of post-conflict states, capacity building to address the core economic and political causes of conflict, as well as, capacity building to address issues of finance and financial sector reconstruction. Each of these aspects is discussed in detail in the study. The study underscores the need to view and understand capacity building exercise as part and parcel of a broad developmental problem which requires broader developmental solutions.
Keywords: Conflict, Post-conflict, Fragile States, Capacity building, Africa, Economic Policy

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