The UK’s support to the African Development Bank Group

The UK’s work with Africa’s leading development institution is good value for money, allowing the UK taxpayer to influence development across Africa, but more could be done to strengthen strategic engagement between the UK and the Bank, and cooperation on the ground.

Score: Green/Amber
  1. Status: Completed
  2. Published: 31 July 2020
  3. Type: Full review
  4. Subject: Development finance, Multilateral spend
  5. Assessment: Green/Amber
  6. Location: Ivory coast, Nigeria, Uganda
  7. Lead commissioner: Tamsyn Barton
  8. SDGs covered:No poverty, Gender equality, Clean water and sanitation, Affordable and clean energy, Decent work and economic growth, Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Latest News

We published our report on the UK’s support to the African Development Bank Group in July 2020 and made five recommendations. The International Development Committee held a hearing on 14 December 2020. More details about next steps can be found in the ‘Further scrutiny’ tab.


The African Development Bank Group (the Bank) is a multilateral development bank that aims to promote sustainable economic development and poverty reduction in Africa. It has regional (African countries) and non-regional (non-African countries) members and is made up of three entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund. It promotes development in Africa by mobilising and allocating financial resources for investment in its regional member countries and providing policy advice and technical assistance in support of development efforts.

The UK joined the ADF, a part of the Bank Group that lends to the poorest countries in Africa, in 1973 and is its largest contributor. It became a member of the AfDB in 1983 and is ranked 14th in terms of shareholding. The UK’s total annual contributions to the Bank amount to approximately £181 million. The UK’s engagement in the Bank comprises:

  • a shareholding in the AfDB representing approximately 1.72% of the AfDB’s capital
  • contributions to the ADF through replenishments that take place every three years
  • several projects that are managed by the Bank and co-financed by DFID through trust funds, such as the Transition Support Facility and the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa.

This review assesses how the Department for International Development (DFID) manages its contribution to the African Development Bank Group. The review questions assess the relevance, effectiveness and efficiency of the Bank, including alignment with the UK’s priorities and DFID’s oversight of its financial contribution, to ensure it represents value for money for the UK.

Whilst finalising this review, the government announced that DFID and the Foreign Office (FCO) would be merged. While DFID, as the lead department during the review period, is the department referred to throughout most of this review, the recommendations are addressed to the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals relevant to this review are:

  • Sustainable Development Goal 1: No poverty
  • Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender equality
  • Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
  • Sustainable Development Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy
  • Sustainable Development Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth
  • Sustainable Development Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure



Published 25 September 2019

Evidence gathering


Review publication

Published 31 July 2020

Government response

Published 18 September 2020

Parliamentary scrutiny

IDC hearing 14 December 2020

ICAI follow-up

Published 30 June 2022