Sanctions System

Decisions to sanction individuals or entities based on IACD’s investigative reports are made independently of the investigative process. The African Development Bank Group operates a two-tiered process to impose penalties for proven commission of sanctionable practices in projects administered, financed or supported by the Bank Group. Upon the completion of investigations relating to allegations, IACD forwards the investigative report to the Sanctions Commissioner, who makes an initial determination and, where applicable, a sanction decision. The individual or entity may appeal the decision of the Sanctions Commissioner to the Sanctions Appeals Board. There is no further appeal from the decision of the Sanctions Appeals Board.

Where the investigations relate to the allegations of sanctionable practices by Bank Group staff relating to operations financed by the Bank Group, its administrative budgets and misuse of Bank resources, IACD will forward its findings to the President. This will be administered under the Bank’s disciplinary framework. 

The sanctions system of the Bank Group was adopted by the Executive Board of Directors on the 5th of July 2012.


Sanctions are decisions made by the Bank Group that penalize individuals or firms for proven commission of sanctionable practices. The Bank Group’s sanctions system is strictly of an administrative nature and made independently of the investigative process. Sanctions are applied based on the principle of proportionality and considers mitigating and aggravating factors. Sanctions include reprimands, debarment, restitution, etc. Debarment is a decision to declare an entity ineligible to bid or be awarded future contracts administered, financed or supported by the African Development Bank Group. 

The Bank Group may also recognize sanctions made by other multilateral development banks under the Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions. Flowing from its commitment to this Agreement, the AfDB may debar an entity found to have participated in certain sanctionable practices by another multilateral bank. Additional information on this agreement is provided under the Initiatives section