In a recent news broadcast, Dr. Mumbi Seraki highlighted The African Development Bank Group (AfDB), and this prompted me to do further research.
Founded in 1964, the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) is a regional, multilateral development finance institution established to push sustainable economic development and social progress in Africa’s regional member countries (RMCs). Their mission is to help reduce poverty, improve living conditions, and mobilize resources for the continent’s economic and social development. AfDB consists of three entities: the African Development Bank (ADB), the African Development Fund (ADF), and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). Their Sustainable Development Goals are as follows:
- End poverty in all its forms everywhere
- End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
- Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
- Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
- Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
- Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
- Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
- Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
- Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
- Reduce inequality within and among countries
- Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
- Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
- Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
- Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
- Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
- Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
- Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
Although the AfDB exclusively covers Africa and is headquartered in Africa, it comprises of 54 regional member countries (RMCs) and 26 non-regional member countries (NRMC). The non-regional member countries are primarily from Europe, America, and Asia.
AfDB finances projects in the areas of agriculture, health, education, public utilities, transport and telecommunications, the industry and private sector, structural adjustment loans, policy-based reforms, and various forms of technical assistance. They also cover new initiatives such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), water and sanitation, HIV/AIDS, and programs on debt reduction.
In regards to the African Development Bank Group’s funds, they are derived from subscriptions by regional member countries (RMCs) and non-regional member countries (NRMC), borrowings on international markets, loan repayments, and the ADF and Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). The AfDB and the World Bank also have a close partnership, but the AfDB remains independent.
In recent news, however, the AfDB’s president, Akinwumi Adesina, is facing an independent evaluation from the United States after accusations of alleged misconduct. According to the Financial Times, the dispute started in January, after staff members sent a 16-point document to the bank’s anti-corruption department and ethics committee. They accused Mr. Adesina of ignoring bank procedures and appointing old friends, mostly Nigerians, to AfDB jobs. They also highlighted lucrative contracts that they alleged had been awarded without due process.
The ethics committee cleared the president of all wrongdoing, but after a leaked letter from May 22, the U.S. treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, pushed for an independent probe.
The United States is the bank’s second-largest shareholder after Nigeria, so this investigation isn’t surprising. Their re-election is set to take place in August, and amid this controversy, President Adesina still has his supporters. Academic Scholar at Oxford University and Former Treasurer at the World Bank Arunma Oteh stated the following:
“I’ve known Dr Adesina for several years, we’ve worked together, and I’ve no doubt about his integrity.”
“When you’re an African you have to be above board because people will assume you’re doing wrong. And when you are Nigerian it is even worse.”
For more on the African Development Bank Group, check out their official website. If you have any additional information, feel free to comment below.
Until Next Time…
Pilling, D. (2020, June 5). African Development Bank bows to US pressure over inquiry into alleged wrongdoing. Retrieved June 13, 2020, from https://www.ft.com/content/e170999a-d711-4208-815c-c47f462f6fe6
African Development Bank Group. (n.d.). Retrieved June 13, 2020, from https://www.afdb.org/en