Policy Documents


Disbursement Handbook

The Disbursement Handbook (the Handbook) sets out the disbursement policies, guidelines, practices, and procedures of the African Development Bank Group (ADB). It serves as a reference guide for Bank staff, Borrowers1, Executing Agencies2, Co-Financiers, Suppliers and other contracting parties in designing, operating disbursement activity and withdrawing loan3 proceeds to ensure efficient and effective project implementation.

Concerning Continuity of Operations and Engagement with the Facto Governements in Regional Member Countries


Options for the Integrated Safeguards System (ISS) - Draft Report

This Options Report provides an update on the process of developing an Integrated Safeguards System (ISS). The ISS draws from existing Bank policies and introduces a set of new Operational Safeguards (OSs), which are a set of brief and focused policy statements that clearly set out the operational requirements with which Bank-financed operations must comply. Unlike other multilateral development banks, the Bank does not yet have a comprehensive set of operational safeguards. In line with commitments made during the General Capital Increase (GCI) and African Development Fund 12 (ADF 12), the...

Bank Group Policy on Program-Based Operations (PBOs)

The Bank Group Policy on Program-Based Operations (PBOs), also known as budget support, was approved on March 14, 2012. The Bank’s vision is to use PBOs, where appropriate, as part of an instrument mix tailored to country circumstances, focusing on support to RMC expenditure and policy reform to improve service delivery, thereby supporting poverty reduction through strong, sustained and shared growth. The Policy is expected to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Bank’s PBOs, which would invariably help to deliver better results in support of priority sectors in Regional Member...

Consultation and Communication Plan for the Design of an Integrated Safeguards System

The African Development Bank (“The Bank”) is in the process of revising and updating its environmental and social safeguards system and procedures. As part of this process, the Bank will be consulting with a broad range of stakeholders with a view to improving the quality and relevance of its Integrated Safeguard Systems.

New Guidelines on the Middle Income Country Technical Assistance Fund

With reference to the above the MIC TAF working group, set up in 2009, has revised the MIC TAF guidelines with a view to address the Board’s concerns, expressed during the seminar on 8 March 2011, about the relatively modest utilization of the resources, the persistent lack of knowledge about the Fund, the need to improve the reporting structure and the difficulty in ensuring timely implementation of grants. This followed a much wider consultative process in which the views of MICs were taken on board, including through field visits, and feedback from the SMCC.

AfDB Group Energy Sector Policy

The Energy Sector Policy of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) provides a general framework for the Bank’s operations in the energy sector. The Policy is still under preparation and has built on the Bank Group’s experience, extensive internal and external consultations and analysis of the key issues of concern in the African energy sector. The new Energy Sector Policy replaces the 1994 Energy Policy and constitutes the Bank’s response to the challenge of low access to modern energy services in Africa. It also better reconciles access and sustainability objectives, namely by addressing...

AfDB's Energy Sector Policy - Draft Version

African countries are faced with many challenges in their quest to improve the welfare of their populations, one of which is the lack of access to affordable and reliable modern energy services. It is estimated that only half of the urban population in sub - Saharan Africa has access to electricity; the ratio is only 8% in the rural area. More over, even when modern energy is available, it is expensive and unreliable. If current trends continue, less than half of African countries will reach universal access to electricity by 2050 . Along with South Asia, S ub - Saharan Africa counts the...

The Bank Group Policy on Non-Concessional Debt Accumulation - Amendment

The provision of grants and debt relief to eligible ADF countries is intended to help bring their debt to sustainable levels and create fiscal space for priority development expenditures. The accumulation of new debt s on non - concessional terms by these countries can undermine these objectives and introduce the risk of free - riding – a situation in which grants and debt relief provided by one or more parties cross - subsidize new borrowing from third party lenders on non - concessional terms. This risk i s particularly high in resource rich countries in which non - concessional borrowing...

Revised Guidelines on Cancellation of Approved Loans, Grants and Guarantees

The Revised Guidelines aim to improve the cancellation process and its governance framework, as well as ensure optimal utilization of Bank resources. They provide staff in the Operations and Finance Complexes with standard procedures for cancellation of approved loans, grants and guarantees. They provide criteria for Regional Member Countries and regional economic communities (RECs) for initiating cancellation of approved loans, grants and guarantees. They further facilitate improved coordination and communication within the Bank and between the Bank and co-financiers (multilateral and...

Transition Framework for Graduating and Reversing Countries

The African Development Bank Group (Bank Group) has a Credit Policy that determines each country‟s eligibility for ADF resources only (Category A), ADB resources only (Category C), or a blend of resources from the two windows (Category B, blend countries) on the basis of two criteria: per capita income and creditworthiness to sustain non - concessional financing. Graduation refers to the process by which an ADF - only country transitions to blend or to ADB - only status, or a blend country to ADB - only status. Rev ersal is the process by which an ADB - only or a blend country ceases to be...

Proposal for a Framework for Managing GCI Resources and Large Loans

The primary business of the Bank is to support the social and economic development efforts of its Regional Member Countries (RMCs) through the provision of development financing, advisory and other technical assistance services, to the extent permitted by its financial capacity and established credit risk and exposure management policies. Prior to the global financial and economic crises, the Bank’s financial capacity was deemed adequate to deliver its projected short to medium term operations. However, like other MDBs, the Bank was called upon by both borrowing and non-borrowing members and...

Request to Transfer Resources from Arrears Clearance of Fragile States Facility (FSF) (Pillar II) to ADF

Th e Arrears Clearance Window (Pillar II) of the Fragile States Facility (FSF) has a balance in the amount of UA 52.88 million as at end July 2010 , of which UA 3.19 million from the ADF and UA 4 9 .69 million from the ADB. Under the ADF - 11 cycle (2008 - 2010) Pillar II resources were provided by both the ADB and the ADF to assist in clearing arrears and servicing any maturities of selected countries until they qualify for debt relief under t he HIPC initiative. Whereas Togo and Cote d’Ivoire qualified for arrears clearance during the ADF - 11 cycle, three countries (Somalia, Sudan and...

Concerning Continuity of Operations and Engagement with the Facto Governements in Regional Member Countries


Staff Guidance Note on the Governance Rating of the AfDB’s Country Performance Assessment

Over the past decade, the recognition of the link between good governance and poverty reduction has triggered the need to measure the quality of governance and monitor its progress over time and across countries. A ccurately a ssessing governance performance is today a priority for African governments and civil soc iety, as reflected by the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and the African Governance Report (AGR) produced by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) . Governance assessments are important diagnostic tools , guiding policy reform and monitoring progres s at the country level...

Fragile States Facility - Guidelines on Administration of the Technical Assistance and Capacity Building (TCB) Program of Pillar III Operations

The Board of Directors adopted the Bank Group ’s Strategy for Enhanced Engagement in Fragile States 1 and the Operations Guidelines of the Fragile State s Facility 2 in 2008. Both documents benefited from the guidance and comments provided by the ADF Deputies and the Boards of Directors right from the start, durin g the preparation of policy papers for the ADF 11 Replenishment negotiations. The approach out lined in the two documents constitutes the African Development Bank Group’s strategic fram ework for supporting eligible fragile states.

Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa

In 2006, the AUC, the UNECA and the AfDB initiated a process for the development of a framework and guidelines for land policy and land reform in Africa with a view to strengthening land rights, enhancing productivity and securing livelihoods for the majority of the continent’s population. That initiative was carried out by way of extensive consultations involving the participation of RECs in all the five regions of the continent, civil society organizations, centres of excellence in Africa and elsewhere, practitioners and researchers in land policy development and implementation, government...

Review of Bank Group Emergency Humanitarian Relief Assistance Operations and Proposals for the Way Forward

This report has been prepared a) in response to a request from the Board of Directors to report on the effectiveness of Bank-supported emergency operations in view of several queries by Executive Directors concerning the Bank’s role in such operations, and b) in the context of the Bank’s search for a more selective role that is in tandem with its comparative advantage, Management is seeking to re-examine some of its activities in member states to date with a view to better matching these activities to our current resources and the institution’s strategic priorities.

Checklist for Gender Mainstreaming in Governance Programmes

Understanding gender issues in governance requires examining the participation and decision-making of women and men in different institutions. Addressing gender gaps in governance entails the adoption of reforms to engender different governing institutions at the various levels of the RMCs to ensure development effectiveness and results.

Checklist for Gender Mainstreaming in the Water and Sanitation Sector

Water and sanitation safety in Africa affects gender relations and raises several social, cultural, institutional and economic questions. The cultural and social setting determines power, status, prestige, rights and obligations. It conditions women’s access to land, water, education, health and employment compared to men. In this context, women and girls are saddled with chores relative to water fetching, transport, storage and usage, while men and boys are reserved the task of sourcing drinking water points for livestock. Women and girls are also responsible for keeping public or private...