‘Borderlands’ are the territorial margins of nation-states – regions where border contact is a central feature of economic and political life. In Africa these regions play host to more than 270 million inhabitants, a combined population significantly larger than any single state on the continent.
These are sites of enormous innovation, creativity, and economic potential, containing both the human and natural resources to support thriving communities and fast-growing local economies. At present this potential is not being fulfilled.
About the Programme
Development approaches to date have tended to design programmes around national development plans, which are implemented within national borders and often overlook the unique challenges of borderlands and their connection to regions outside the national territory. The absence of dedicated borderland programming at a regional level has been a critical gap in developmental policy to date.
In response, UNDP has established the Africa Borderlands Centre, which treats border regions as distinct economic and political zones in their own right. The Borderlands Centre offers specialized, expert knowledge and technical advice that will enable the better design, implementation, and adaptation of development programmes for border regions across Africa. It will operate as an expert resource of intelligence, expertise, and experience in support of national governments, inter-governmental agencies, UNDP country offices, UN agencies, development partners and other key stakeholders.