Ireland becomes 81st shareholder of the African Development Bank

Updated: May 8, 2020

Dr Akinwumi Adesina

Ireland has joined the African Development Bank Group, becoming the 81st shareholder, its president Akinwumi Adesina announced on Tuesday.

Ireland’s application to join the African Development Bank Group was approved in 2019 during the annual meetings of the Board of Governors held in Equatorial Guinea.

In February 2020, the nation approved the Instrument of Ratification of the Agreement, establishing the African development fund with the secretary-general of the Bank Group. Dr Adesina, said: “Ireland joining the African Development Bank is a mark of great confidence in the bank. I am delighted to welcome them as the 81st member. "Ireland’s membership and shareholder support will further boost the African Development Bank’s mission to accelerate Africa’s economic development.”

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said that it is an important move that reinforces the relationship between Ireland and Africa.

"The African Development Bank and the African Development Fund play an important role in fostering sustainable and inclusive social and economic growth and prosperity, helping the African continent to realise its potential to be the continent of promise and opportunity," Mr Donohoe said.

Ireland’s Strategy for Africa 2025 includes a commitment to collaborating with the critical financial institutions on the continent, as well as exploring new partnerships to support policy development and program implementation. It also aims to solidify engagement in blended finance mechanisms for job creation.

Simon Coveney, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, said there was strong alignment between the priorities of Ireland’s international development policy, A Better World, and the African Development Bank’s overarching High 5 priorities.

“This marks an important milestone of Ireland’s long standing partnership with Africa. I know that membership of the Bank will further strengthen the role Ireland plays in sustainable and inclusive development on the continent.

"Ireland’s membership also comes as the African Development Bank provides crucial support to countries’ Covid-19 response.

"Ireland's African Development Bank membership is also an important expression of our commitment to, and investment in, the multilateral system and of our contribution to peace, security and sustainable development in Africa. This partnership will help us reach the furthest behind first," Conveney added. Founded in 1963, the African Development Bank is a regional multilateral development bank focused on reducing poverty, improving living conditions for Africans and mobilising resources for its economic and social development. 

Headquartered in Côte d'Ivoire, membership of the bank now comprises 54 African countries and 26 non-African countries. Ireland has become the 81st country to become a member (27th non-regional member).