Established to help development efforts on the continent, the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group comprises three distinct entities under one management: the African Development Bank (ADB) which is the flagship or parent institution, established on August 4, 1963 in Khartoum, Sudan, by the then 23 newly independent African countries; as well as two concessionary windows - the African Development Fund (ADF), established on November 29, 1972, by the African Development Bank and 13 non-African countries, and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF), set up in 1976 by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The inaugural meeting of the Board of Governors of the Bank was held from  November 4-7, 1964, in Lagos, Nigeria, and the headquarters was opened in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, in March 1965. Its operations commenced on July 1, 1966. Since early 2003, the Group operates from its Temporary Relocation Agency (TRA) in Tunis, Tunisia


Membership of the AfDB Group, as at the end of November 2013, includes 53 independent African countries  and 25 non-African countries. To become an AfDB member, non-regional countries must first be ADF members.


From an initial authorized capital of US$ 250 million, AfDB resources increased over a 19-year period up to 1982 to US$ 2.9 billion and jumped to US$ 6.3 billion in 1983 as a result of the admission of non-regional countries on December 30, 1982. It further increased to US$ 22.3 billion barely five years later following a 200% Fourth General Capital Increase achieved in Cairo, Egypt, in June 1987. The Fifth General Capital Increase concluded in 1998 recorded a 35% capital increase and attributed 60% shareholding to regional countries and 40% to non-regional countries.

For the ADF, from the initial contributions of US$ 101 million in 1974 by its first 13 member state-participants, the Fund has had eleven general replenishments on a 3-yearly basis. The current ADF XI replenishment of UA 5.76 billion or US$ 8.9 billion for the 2008-2010 period, saw a record 52% increase on previous ADF-X figure.

The Nigeria Trust Fund, for its part, started operations with US$ 80 million in 1976 and after one replenishment in 1981, it has been efficiently managed by the Bank to reach UA 233.5 million, equivalent to US$ 0.432 billion. Apart from capital subscriptions by member countries, other sources of Bank Group resources include borrowings from the international financial markets, as well as from incomes generated from loans.

The AfDB has also been instrumental in the establishment and promotion of other African development institutions such as Africa Re-insurance Corporation, Shelter Afrique, Association of African Development Finance Institutions (AADFI), Federation of African Consultants (FECA), the Africa Project Development Facility (APDF), the International Finance Company for Investments in Africa (SIFIDA),  African Management Services Company (AMSCO),  African Business Round Table (ABR), African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK), African Capacity Building Foundation, Joint Africa Institute, PTA Bank, the Network for Environment and Sustainable Development in Africa (NESDA).

The Bank has also been the lead agency for NEPAD infrastructure development, a respected guide in the development of banking and financial standards as well as the strategic partner of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

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