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AfDB Group: The first 50 years

AfDB is the continent’s largest development finance institution

Fifty years ago, on 4 November 1964, Ministers from 23 then independent African States convened in Lagos, Nigeria, for the inaugural meeting of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank. The young Institution was assigned a dual mandate: the social and economic transformation of Africa, and the economic integration of the Continent.

That mission is as relevant today as it was then. What started as a continental partnership among a handful of African countries has emerged as one of Africa's most effective (…)

Donald Kaberuka, AfDB President, 2005-2015

The African Development Bank is a model of how Africa and the developed world can work together for mutual benefit and with mutual respect

        Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda


What is the AfDB?

AfDB's prime objective is to mobilize financial resources to support sustainable economic and social development in Africa. To do this, the Bank raises funds from inside and outside the continent to finance development projects such as roads, hospitals and schools, agricultural projects and electricity.


AfDB from1964 to 2014:

 

From 23 to 79member

countries

 

From 10 to 2000 

staff members

 

4.185 Projects,

loans and grants

 

1.000 bn USD 

cumulated loan

 

Watch the AfDB 50th anniversary official video

As we grow up, our needs change. For that reason, with the Bank, we work on innovative instruments.

        Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, Deputy Minister of Finance, Ghana


Africa/AfDB Timeline

Africa

Afdb

 
 
 
1962
 

PHOTO: Romeo Horton (center), of Liberia, leader of the “Committee of nine”

 

Conference of Ministers established committee from 9 countries to prepare for the creation of AfDB

1963
 

In Khartoum, on 4 August, 23 states signed the Agreement Establishing the ADB

 

“The Governments on whose behalf the Agreement was signed were determined to strengthen African solidarity by means of economic cooperation between African states, and therefore agreed to establish hereby the African Development Bank with the objective of contributing to the sustainable development and social progress of the African member countries”.

1964

300 million people

US$ 39.2 billion GDP

Bank members: 26

September 10: Birth of AfDB

November 4-7: Board of Governors inaugural meeting in Lagos, Nigeria

Mamoun Beheiry (Sudan) elected 1st President

1965
 

March: Headquarters opened in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

1966
 

Bank staff: 10

Board of Governors 1st meeting in Abidjan

July: Official start of operational activities

1967
 

PHOTO: Mamoun Beheiry signing the first two Bank operations: an equity participation in the National Development Bank of Sierra Leone, and a loan to finance the construction of a road in Kenya

Bank loans/grants: US$ 2.3 million

1968
 

PHOTO: A project in agriculture sector, in Liberia

First Bank projects in Agriculture and in Water supply

1969
 

Bank loans/grants: US$ 7.9 million First Bank projects in Power supply and in Finance

1970
 

PHOTO: Infrastructure project in Central African Republic Abdelwahab Labidi (Tunisia) elected 2nd President. The Bank intensified its contacts and search for business and got more project proposals.

1971
 

The Bank continues to extend its loans, with special focus on the six Sahelian countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal. The Sahelian countries were hit hard by drought and required both humanitarian assistance and long-term financing to improve their food security.

1972
 

African Development Fund (ADF) created. The role of the ADF is to establish a ‘soft’ window for lower income countries, contributing to poverty reduction and economic and social development by providing concessional funding for projects and programs

1974
 

Bank loans/grants: US$ 135.5 million 1st General Capital Increase (US$ 206 million) ADF began operations

1975
 

PHOTO: Laying of the first stone of the AfDB Headquarters building, in Abidjan. On the right, the second President of the Bank, Abdelwahad Labidi of Tunisia. The Board of Governors approved the establishment of the Nigeria Trust Fund First Bank projects in Education and Health sectors.

1976
 

PHOTO: Kwame Donkor Fordwor (Ghana) elected 3rd President.

 

PHOTO: Telecommunications project in Swaziland

1977
 

The Board of Governors approved in principle the admission of non-regional countries to the Bank’s membership. Negotiation with non-regional countries began.

1979
 

Bank loans/grants: US$ 519.9 million Goodall Gondwe (Malawi) Acting President The two oil price shocks of 1973 and 1979 had a strongly adverse impact on African economies. African countries were persuaded to seek external resources, and eventually the Bank decided to open its capital to non-African members.

1980
 

Willa Mung’Omba (Zambia), elected 4th President

1983
 

17 Non-Regional Members attended their first AfDB Group Annual Meetings as full Members The admission of the non-regional countries helped to improve the financial position of the Bank, and consequently its rating by international financial markets.

1984
 

Bank loans/grants: US$ 879.3 million

1985
 

Babacar Ndiaye (Senegal) elected 5th President

1987
 

4th General Capital Increase of US$ 22.3 billion (200% increase)

1988
 

PHOTO: Côte d’Ivoire President Félix Houphouet-Boigny hosting an African Development Bank delegation in his private residence in Cocody, Abidjan. The first President of Côte d’Ivoire played a key role in the establishment of the Bank, and in the promotion of regional integration. Approval of US$ 13 billion lending program

1989

612 million people US$ 495 billion GDP

Members: 77

Staff: 1100

Number operation (since 1967): 1291

Bank loans/grants (1989): US$ 2.8 billion

 

25th anniversary celebrations. Report of the Committee of Ten on the AfDB’s future

1990
 

Babacar Ndiaye re-elected for a second term. During the 1990s, the AfDB diversified its mission and focused on new challenges.

1991
 

First Bank projects in Micro-Finance

1992
 

Appointment of Bodour Abu-Affan (Sudan) as first woman Vice President First Bank projects in Environment sector

1993
 

PHOTO: President N’diaye (left), and the President of Benin Nicéphore Soglo (center) during a symposium organised by AfDB.

1994
 

Bank loans/grants: US$ 1.4 billion

1995
 

PHOTO: Omar Kabbaj congratulated by his predecessor, Babacar N’Diay Omar Kabbaj (Morocco) elected 6th President. During his mandate, major issues that received attention included the strengthening of the Bank’s country focus by establishing country teams, aligning the Bank’s interventions with the development priorities of the countries, improving the quality-at-entry of projects, as well as the monitoring and evaluation of projects.

1997
 

South Africa and Botswana first African countries to contribute to ADF. Agriculture, private sector development and human capital development identified as new strategic sectors for Bank lending.

1998
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTO: A view of the AfDB Annual Meeting in Abidjan, 1998.

1999
 

Bank loans/grants: US$ 1.638.6 million Bank adopts new vision to promote economic growth with equity and poverty reduction as central goals. To this end, Bank resources would target four operational areas: agricultural and rural development; human resources development; private sector development; and good governance.

2000
 

Omar Kabbaj re-elected for a second term First Bank projects in urban development The United Nations adopt the Millennium Development Goals

2001
 

First Annual Meetings outside Africa in Valencia, Spain

2003
 

PHOTO: The Bank’s offices, in Tunis Bank temporarily relocated to Tunisia because of growing political instability in Côte d’Ivoire

2004
 

Bank loans/grants: US$ 2 691.5 million

2005
 

Donald Kaberuka (Rwanda) elected 7th President. Kaberuka pushed for far-reaching decentralization of Bank operations to enhance product and service delivery, donor harmonization and policy dialogue.

2008
 

In the face of the international financial crisis, President Kaberuka, together with leaders of the African Union and the Economic Commission for Africa, was tasked to find ways of alleviating the serious credit, investment and growth constraints that the crisis was imposing on the continent. International financial crisis

2009
 

Bank loans/grants: US$ 11.8 billion

2010
 

6th Global Capital Increase of US$ 64 billion Donald Kaberuka re-elected for a second term Africa population reaches 1 billion

2011
 

AfDB develops short term and long term measures for crisis-resilient growth in North African Arab spring

2012
 

Establishment of Regional Resource Centers in South Africa & Kenya Bank wins two US Treasury Development Impact Awards (projects in Uganda & Cote d’Ivoire)

2013
 

ADF-XIII Replenishment of US$ 7.3 billion (to 2016) Bank approved Ten Year Strategy (2013-2022) with the objectives of inclusive growth and transition to green growth”

2014

1,136 million people US$ 2,476.9 billion GDP

Members: 80

Staff: 1900

Number of operations (since 1967): 4185

Bank loans/grants (2014): US$ 6.5 billion AfDB celebrates its return to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, after 11 years

PHOTO: The ceremony celebrating the Bank’s return to Abidjan is led by Donald Kaberuka (right) and Daniel Kablan Duncan, Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire (left)

 

 

Golden Book Download

Click here to download the AfDB 50th anniversary Golden Book

50 years, 50 images… a panorama of what we do

AfDB - 50th anniversary photo exhibition