The African Development Fund: 50 years of making a difference

Five decades after its establishment, the African Development Fund continues to play a key role in improving the lives of millions of people across Africa. Established in 1972 and operational in 1974, the Fund provides low-income African countries, including those in fragile situations, with catalytic finance via grants, guarantees mechanism and concessional loans. The Fund also offers transformative knowledge services, technical assistance and capacity building to support programs and projects that reduce poverty and bolster socioeconomic development in targeted countries. The Fund has cumulatively invested $45 billion across the African continent, implementing around 2,800 projects across various sectors, including quality infrastructure and integration, gender, climate change, governance, private sector development and resilience, making a difference in the lives of millions and demonstrating clear value for money. The development impact of the African Development Fund’s operations underscores its relevance to the continent’s most vulnerable countries, and highlights its role as a trusted and strategic partner to its stakeholders. A leader among its peers, in 2021 the Fund ranked second among 49 international agencies for the quality of its development assistance, according to the Center for Global Development. Today, it currently provides support to 37 eligible countries. While much has been achieved through the Fund, much remains to be done. Many African countries are at the forefront of climate change, and many will bear the brunt of a looming global food crisis. Not to mention regional integration challenges, and gender priorities. Therefore, sustained funding will be vital.

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