The Central African Republic has long been depicted as a textbook case of a fragile and conflict-affected state. Landlocked and surrounded by unstable neighbors, CAR has been mired in sectarian violence for decades. And despite being endowed with a wealth of resources - ranging from diamonds, gold to oil and uranium -, the country suffers from a 75% poverty rate, leaving little incentive for youth to defect the ranks of local militias.
To help change this narrative, a new portrait of the country is being painted by local politicians, civil society and the development community, one that moves beyond the focus on humanitarian aid and security, and puts investment in productive sectors front and center.
It is in that spirit that the World Bank CMU and ECRGE recently organized a two-day workshop for MPs hosted at the National Assembly, aimed at strengthening parliamentary engagement in a country long considered “a basket case.”
In attendance were 55 MP, a third of the Parliament - including the President of the National Assembly Abdoul Karim Meckassoua and the Chair of the Finance Committee Martin Ziguélé - a testament to the strong commitment of Parliament to deepen its dialogue with the World Bank and its eagerness to build institutional capacity.