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Working Paper 58 - The Contribution of African Development Bank to Economic Knowledge and Policy in Africa


The African Development Bank Group is mandated to contribute to the economic and social development of Africa—particularly the reduction of poverty. While its principal operational activity involves project and programme lending, it recognizes the need to become a knowledge center on African development. The development process includes the fostering of research and intellectual ideas, which not only support the Bank’s traditional lending activity but also promote discussion and inquiry into the socio-economic problems and challenges of the region. This paper discusses the contributions of the African Development Bank (ADB) to economic knowledge and policy in Africa. Following the introductory remarks, this paper has four major sections. It starts by recapitulating Africa’s development challenges at the turn of the millennium. Section III outlines the role of development policy formulation and research in a Multilateral Development Bank such as the ADB. Section IV focuses on three key areas in which the Bank has made modest contributions to economic knowledge and policy in Africa. The paper concludes by outlining ways by which the Bank’s role as a knowledge center on African development policy issues could be enhanced.

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