DEFINITION of 'African Development Bank - ADB'

A financial institution comprising 53 African and 24 non-African countries which promotes economic and social progress in Africa through loans, equity investments and technical assistance. Structurally, the ADB Group includes the African Development Bank, the African Development Fund and the Nigeria Trust Fund. Established in 1964 and headquartered in Tunisia, the Bank has provided a cumulative $55 billion in loans and grants in the region.

BREAKING DOWN 'African Development Bank - ADB'

The ADB has been praised for its role in the fight against HIV/AIDS on the African continent, but its operations have also been criticized for being less than transparent. Some observers complain that the ADB emphasizes large infrastructure projects at the expense of smaller, cheaper options that may produce more energy with greater benefit to the continent's poor.

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