What Is the African Development Bank?

African Development Bank (ADB) is a financial institution comprising 54 African and 26 non-African countries that promote 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.

Understanding the 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.

In addition to the Bank, the AfDB Group comprises two affiliates: the African Development Fund (AfDF), established in 1972, and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF), providing support to the poorest regional member countries.

ADB Goals

The organization's stated goals are: 

Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries

Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development