Annual Development Effectiveness Review (ADER) 2015

Driving development through innovation

Each year the African Development Bank publishes the Annual Development Effectiveness Review (ADER) to provide an overview of how it contributes to Africa’s development. This fifth edition of the ADER has innovation as its theme. Innovation means not only taking ideas from around the world and adapting them to Africa’s unique conditions, but also using new home-grown ideas from across the continent to improve lives.

The ADER addresses three broad questions:  What development progress is Africa making? How well is AfDB contributing to Africa’s development? And how well is AfDB managing itself to better support Africa’s development?

The report shows how the Bank’s work is in many aspects central to innovation, such as expanding markets through regional integration, promoting skills development in science and technology and, above all, supporting creation of the backbone infrastructure on which innovation depends.

The ADER provides evidence of the Bank’s contribution to Africa’s development and discusses how well it manages its portfolio and itself as an organisation. The ADER openly discusses its strengths and weaknesses and notes the reforms it is undertaking to become a stronger partner in development.
Through such initiatives as the Annual Development Effectiveness Review, it demonstrates accountability for the results of its efforts.

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Level 1: Development in Africa

Africa today is at a high point in its development fortunes. A combination of high commodity prices, new trading links and widespread improvements in economic governance have made Africa the world’s fastest- growing continent. Robust economic growth is providing African countries with the means to boost public investment, strengthen social services and deliver prosperity to more of their population.


However, despite this remarkable progress, the continent continues to face challenges. African countries have
not yet made the structural change needed for growth to become self-sustaining, generating the jobs and livelihood opportunities that would help lift the majority of Africans out of poverty.


In this section, we report on Africa’s development progress over the past few years, highlighting both areas of good performance and areas in need of further effort. In particular, we indicate where innovation can help accelerate development. This section uses 26 indicators from Level 1 of the One Bank Results Measurement Framework to show 2014 performance, with traffic light symbols to indicate how Africa has progressed compared to other developing countries.

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Level 2: How AfDB contributes to Africa’s development

As Africa’s premier finance institution, the AfDB provides investments, technical knowledge and policy advocacy to transform lives and livelihoods across the continent and help African countries achieve their development goals. At the end of 2014 our portfolio of operations was valued at more than $31.7 billion.


Our Bank Strategy (2013–22) sets out five core priorities, which provide the structure for this chapter: infrastructure, regional integration, private sector development, skills and technology, and governance and accountability. We also provide an account of our work on cross-cutting policy objectives: strengthening food security, promoting gender equality and reducing conflict and fragility.


In this section, we report on progress against 39 indicators at Level 2 of the One Bank Results Measurement Framework, showing results in the period 2012–14. We use a traffic light system to indicate whether we reached
or fell short of our targets. We also set out some of our plans and targets for the next three years. Many of our projects have performed well, achieving their objectives and delivering development benefits to people across Africa and we have led and supported a number of important continent-wide initiatives.

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Level 3 How well AfDB manages its operations

At the African Development Bank, we continually strive to improve our performance in strategy and project management. In recent years we have introduced many new measures to help us achieve higher-quality results. This section assesses how well we are managing our portfolio of projects, using 22 indicators from Level 3 of our One Bank Results Measurement Framework. We review the design and supervision of our projects, to ensure that we are making the best use of our resources to promote inclusive and green growth. We look at whether our portfolio is optimised to deliver results efficiently and effectively, and at whether we are learning lessons from past projects to improve our performance. We assess progress on our cross-cutting agendas of gender equality and addressing fragility and climate change.


The return to the Bank headquarters, tight budgets and the Ebola epidemic in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone has affected many of our operations, postponing supervision missions and delaying consultation on Country Strategy Papers. Nonetheless, we have achieved many of our targets for portfolio management and we have also set ourselves some ambitious goals for the coming years. 

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Level 4: How efficient AfDB is as an organization

The final level of AfDB’s Results Measurement Framework assesses how well we manage ourselves as an organisation. We use 15 indicators to measure how far we have come in improving our structures and management processes to achieve value for money for our partner countries. This section examines our progress in decentralising our staff and functions to the country level and in strengthening our staff management. It looks at whether business process reforms, including the introduction of new IT systems, have led to greater efficiency. We take stock of the structural changes we introduced to help us deliver the Bank Strategy and respond to the needs of our partner countries. We also reflect on the move back to the Bank’s permanent headquarters in Abidjan, assessing how this major operation has affected the delivery of our operations.

To meet the level of ambition set out in the Bank Strategy, we must keep our own organisation under continuous review, seeking out opportunities to drive up performance and achieve better value for our partner countries. This period has therefore been particularly dynamic for the Bank, as we have realigned our structures and resources to deliver on the Strategy.

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