The African Development Bank Group (ADB) is a development bank established in 1964 with the intention of promoting economic and social development in Africa. The Group comprises the African Development Bank (ADB), the African Development Fund (ADF), and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). Forty years to date, the ADB Group has financed 2,885 operations, for a total of $47.5 billion. It concluded 2003 with a AAA rating from major financial agencies and with a capital of $32.043 billion. Moreover, it has placed an emphasis over the years on the role of women, education and structural reforms, and lent its support to key initiatives such as debt alleviation for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC's) and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). It currently has 78 members: 53 countries in Africa and 25 American, European, and Asian countries.
The ADB has four principal functions. The first is to make loans and equity investments for the economic and social advancement of the RMCs. Second, it is to provide technical assistance for the preparation and execution of development projects and programs. Third, the ADB is to promote investment of public and private capital for development purposes. Lastly, the ADB is to assist in coordinating development policies and plans of RMCs. The ADB is also required to give special attention to national and multinational projects and programs which promote regional integration.
Today, the ADB commits approximately US$3 billion annually to African countries, equivalent to only about 6% of development aid to the continent. Its relatively small lending portfolio and its tendency to follow in the footsteps of larger, more prominent public institutions like the World Bank, has meant that the AFDB has received little attention from civil society organizations as well as academia.
The largest share of AFDB lending goes to infrastructure projects, followed by "multisector operations," which are usually loans for various policy reforms or general budget support for a government. ADB support for infrastructure, private sector development, and the extractive industries (particularly mining) is expected to increase over the coming years