The UK’s support to the African Development Bank

A review of the effectiveness of the Department for International Development’s (DFID) support to the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group since 2014.


The AfDB Group is a regional development bank that aims to promote sustainable economic development and reduce poverty in Africa by mobilising and allocating resources for investment in regional member countries, and providing policy advice and technical assistance to support development efforts.

The Group comprises three entities – the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund, with the first two forming the focus of this review given their share of overall Group activity.

Since 2014, the UK’s average annual contributions to the AfDB Group were approximately £205 million, which amounts to approximately 1.6% of its overall official development assistance (ODA). DFID’s rationale for working with the AfDB Group includes the financial and technical support that the Group provides to the poorest countries in Africa, as well as middle-income countries. Working with the AfDB Group also enables DFID to expand its reach to support vulnerable communities; the review is also relevant in view of possible wider lessons for DFID’s contributions to other multilateral and regional development banks.


The review covers the period since 2014, which includes the 13th and 14th replenishments of the ADF. It will include an overview of the AfDB Group but will not focus equally on all 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals that the AfDB Group lists in its Mission and Strategy Statement.

It will focus in particular on specific themes, such as fragility, financial leverage and leave no one behind, and sectors that have received the most funding in recent years – transport, power, agriculture and WASH.

In order to gain a detailed understanding of how the AfDB Group works in specific contexts, we will develop five in-depth case studies – Nigeria, Uganda, Tunisia, Kenya and Mali, including visits to two of these countries (Nigeria and Uganda). We will also visit the AfDB Group headquarters in Cote d’Ivoire to expand on the evidence we’ve collected. In addition, we will conduct a literature review and a review of DFID and the AfDB Group’s corporate-level documentation and evidence, including interviews with key stakeholders within both organisations.

Review questions

  • How well aligned is the AfDB with the UK’s aid priorities in Africa?
  • How effective is the AfDB at delivering UK aid priorities?
  • How well does DFID ensure the value for money of its contributions to the AfDB?

Approach paper

For more information read the full approach paper:

Approach paper – The UK’s support to the African Development Bank