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Established to promote economic and social development efforts on the continent, the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group comprises three entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB) which is the parent institution, created following an agreement signed by 23 founding member states on August 14, 1963 in Khartoum, Sudan. This became effective on September 10, 1964. The group includes 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 to 7, 1964 in Lagos, Nigeria, and the headquarters was opened in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, in March 1965. The Bank’s operations commenced on July 1, 1966. From February 2003, the Bank operated from its Temporary Relocation Agency (TRA) in Tunis, Tunisia, due to the prevailing political conflict in Côte d’Ivoire at the time until late 2013 when it commenced the return to its headquarters in Abidjan. In June 2015, over 1,500 staff had returned to headquarters out of the more than 1,900 total staff complement in the Bank.


Membership of the AfDB Group at the end of May 2015, comprised 54 African countries and 26 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. This was tripled to US $100 billion on May 27, 2010 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

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 11thand 13th replenishments garnered $14 billion and US $14.6 billion, respectively.

The Nigeria Trust Fund started operations with US $80 million in 1976. It was replenished in 1981 and extended for another 10 years in 2008. At end 2012, its resources stood at US $253 million.

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 is 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).