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The African Development Bank: Facing new challenges

Briefing/policy papers

This briefing paper examines the changing nature of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in the 1980s and 1990s. The AfDB is a major financial institution in a continent with weak economic performance. Euromoney named it Supranational Borrower of the Year in 1991. Yet despite its high credit rating, there are concerns that its Iending strategies will not be responsive to the economic problems of the continent. The Bank has a regional vocation although regional economic integration in Africa has been rather unsuccessful. It needs to balance the demands for project and policy loans from the regional members with the financial concerns of non-regional members. It must also cope with and facilitate major changes in Southern Africa as well as recovery in the rest of Africa. The paper concludes that although the Bank has made significant improvements in its management and lending practices, it still needs to reconcile the interests of the non-regional and regional members.