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African Development Bank

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African Development Bank (AfDB)

© African Development Bank


Created in 1964, the African Development Bank's (AfDB) mission is to help reduce poverty, improve living conditions for Africans and mobilize resources for Africa's economic and social development.

The AfDB has 77 country members, with Canada becoming a member in 1982 in order to support the poorest region of the world. Canada holds a permanent seat on both the 20-member AfDB Board of Directors and the 14-member Board of Directors of the AfDB's African Development Fund (ADF). Canada, the fourth largest non-African shareholder, is contributing $325.6 million to the ADF between 2011-2013. The ADF provides low interest loans and grants to support the poorest and most vulnerable African countries.

DFATD leads Canada's day-to-day relations with the AfDB in close consultation with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and Finance Canada. Canada considers the AfDB an important regional institution and a valued partner in Africa.

In October 2009, Canada increased its callable capital at the Bank by $2.8 billion to support lending for economic, social and institutional development in Africa during the global financial crisis.

Canada, in April 2013, committed $15 million over four years in support of the New Partnership for Africa's Development Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility, hosted by the African Development Bank. This project, funded by Canada's Pan-Africa Regional Program, represents a second phase of Canadian support to the facility. Through the project, African countries, regional economic communities, and specialized regional institutions will receive technical and financial assistance to help leverage public and private sector financing for infrastructure projects, targeting potential projects in the energy, transportation, information and telecommunications sectors.

Through DFATD, Canada contributes to several multilateral funds in the education, water and infrastructure sections. We are a strong supporter of the AfDB's programs to increase access to safe drinking water and sanitation services for the poor. This includes support to the African Water Facility.

Thematic Focus

The AfDB's mandate aligns closely with Canada's international development priority themes of stimulating sustainable economic growth, securing the future of children and youth, and increasing food security.

Economic growth

The AfDB's focus on supporting economic growth in Africa, particularly in the private sector and the infrastructure sector, makes it one of our key partners in this area.

Children and youth

The AfDB's investments in health and education contribute to international and Canadian efforts to provide quality primary education to all children. This includes supporting its regional member countries in building schools, training teachers, and providing learning materials and equipment.

Food security

Together with the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the AfDB accounts for more than half of all donor interventions in African agriculture, making it an important partner for Canada in increasing food security.

Canada's Strategy for Working with the AfDB

Canada's work with the AfDB focuses on three strategic objectives:

  1. Working with partners to help the AfDB implement its medium-term strategy framework. This includes:
    • Pressing the Bank to address the needs of the poorest
    • Supporting adjustments to existing policies and mechanisms to allow for faster and more flexible responses
  2. Strengthening the implementation of AfDB programs in four priority areas:
    • Fragile states
    • Regional integration
    • Water
    • Private sector development
  3. Working with AfDB management to improve institutional effectiveness and results reporting.


Between 2009 and 2011, with the support of Canada and other donors, the AfDB has helped:

  • Provide 11 million people with better access to health care
  • Strengthen food security for 11 million people
  • Connect more than 6 million people to electricity
  • Improve access to transport for nearly 11 million people
  • Provide more than 12 million people with new or improved access to water and sanitation
  • Construct and rehabilitate more than 6,000 classrooms and educational support facilities
  • Supply nearly 14 million textbooks and teaching materials
  • Recruit and train 107,728 teachers and other educational staff and enrol 228,770 new students