On the sidelines of the 2024 Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development, the African Development Bank and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to further advance their collaboration.

The agreement builds on the existing cooperation between both organisations and underlines their joint commitment to deepen the understanding of drivers of fragility and insecurity, and to promote actions that prevent conflicts and build resilience in Africa.

Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, African Development Bank vice-president: regional development, integration and business delivery, notes: “Our MoU with SIPRI reflects the Bank’s continued strong commitment to enhance its operational effectiveness in fragile settings.

“We aim to build resilience at scale on the continent and advance the prevention agenda through innovative partnerships across the humanitarian-development-peace (HDP) nexus. This is in line with the bank’s new Ten-Year Strategy as well as the Strategy for Addressing Fragility and Building Resilience in Africa.”

The new partnership will pursue the following objectives:

* Knowledge and capacity building – Deepen knowledge and understanding of the drivers of fragility, conflict and resilience; channel such knowledge, including of best practices and innovations, into policy dialogues and capacity enhancement for the Bank, African member countries and other humanitarian, development, and peace actors.

* Operational effectiveness – Enhance the bank’s programming and project design in fragile contexts and conflict-affected states by strengthening the evidence base of the bank’s interventions – this includes the bank’s projects and programs on climate-related peace and security risks.

* Partnerships and resource mobilization – Expand and deepen existing partnerships in line with the strategic objectives of the bank and SIPRI; mobilize resources through collaboration, including at important international forums. The joint knowledge products and related findings can also support resource mobilisation for AfDB’s programming.

Accordingly, the partnership framework over the next 5 years will cover research, data, analysis and capacity development; policy and development effectiveness; and partnerships and resource mobilisation.

Dan Smith, director of SIPRI, says: “With this new MoU, we will be leveraging our respective expertise and resources to contribute to system-wide approaches to tackle the interconnected issues of fragility, conflict, and climate change.

“By deepening the understanding of the drivers of conflict and insecurity, and the opportunities for sustainable peace, the partnership aims to enhance the policies, programs and interventions of the Bank and its partners, which will benefit some of the most vulnerable communities across the continent.”

Yero Baldeh, director, transition states coordination office at the African Development Bank, states: “With regards to the specific outcomes and results expected throughout the MoU duration, these will be captured in an evolving Partnership Workplan guiding the envisioned implementation. The partnership will strengthen the knowledge base, build capacities, inform policy dialogues and mobilize resources.”