A New and Improved African Development Bank? An Update on Recommendations from the CGD Working Group

May 17, 2010

With the African Development Bank (AfDB) seeking approval from its shareholders for a three-fold increase in its capital base, CGD senior fellow and vice president Todd Moss has evaluated the bank’s progress against six recommendations offered by a CGD working group in 2006. How much progress has the AfDB made?

In this frank report card, Moss gives bank management high marks for the three recommendations under its control: promoting economic growth, specializing in infrastructure, and strengthening the bank’s role as a voice for the continent (by leading not lending). But the shareholders—the bank’s member countries—earn two incompletes and an “F” on the three recommendations that they control: backing off (e.g. reducing the laundry list of shareholder demands); lightening up (transforming the Board into a nonexecutive, nonresident body); and settling the issue of the location of the bank’s headquarters.

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