Founded in 1964, the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) is a multilateral development finance institution, headquartered in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and comprises three entities: The African Development Bank, the African Development Fund and the Nigeria Trust Fund. On a mission to fight poverty and improve the lives of Africans through promoting the investment of public and private capital in projects and programs that contribute to the economic and social development of the continent, the African Development Bank is a financial provider to African governments and private companies investing in the Bank’s regional member countries. The Bank has 81 shareholders including 27 non-African countries.
The African Development Bank Group is overseen by the Boards of Executive Directors who are elected by the Boards of Governors of the Bank Group and are made up of representatives of its member countries. The shareholding of the Bank is 60%-40% between regional member countries and non-regional member countries respectively. Nigeria is the largest shareholder of the Bank.. All shareholders are represented on the Board of Executive Directors by 20 Board Members. Since 2015, the African Development Bank has been led by Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina as President and Chairman of the Boards of Directors of the Bank Group. Dr. Adesina was unanimously re-elected for a second five-year term in 2020.
On commencement of his first term, Dr. Adesina introduced the Bank’s highly successful High-5 agenda to Light Up and Power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the Quality of Life of the People of Africa. The High-5 agenda builds on the Bank Group’s 2013-2022 strategy, which fosters inclusive growth and the transition to green growth. The High-5 agenda emphasizes the Bank Group’s development priorities. These priorities are consistent with the United Nations agenda on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Since the High-5 agenda was launched, more than 335 million people across Africa have benefitted from the Bank Group’s strategic interventions under the program.
With Dr. Adesina at the helm, the African Development Bank Group achieved the highest capital increase since its establishment in 1964 when in 2019, shareholders from 80 member countries raised the general capital from $93 billion to a historic $208 billion. The African Development Bank Group responded boldly and swiftly to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, the premier development finance institution launched a landmark $3 billion Covid-19 Social Bond on the global capital markets, which was the largest U.S. dollar denominated social bond in world history. In addition, the Bank launched a $10 billion Crisis Response Facility to support African countries. In recognition of the institution’s impressive achievements, prestigious U.S. magazine Global Finance named the African Development Bank as the “Best Multilateral Financial Institution in the world for 2021”.