The African Development Bank

The African Development Bank (AfDB) supports efforts to reduce poverty, improve living conditions and mobilise resources for the continent’s economic and social development.

Switzerland is an active member of the AfDB’s governing bodies.

Visit of the Swiss Advisory Committee on International Cooperation in Abidjan, November 2018.
Visit of the Swiss Advisory Committee on International Cooperation in Abidjan, November 2018.
© AfDB

Role and activities of the AfDB

The overall objective of the AfDB is to promote sustainable economic development and social progress in African member states and thus contribute to poverty reduction. To achieve this, the AfDB has defined five operational priorities, which it calls its «High Fives»:

  • light up and power Africa,
  • feed Africa,
  • integrate Africa,
  • industrialise Africa and
  • improve quality of life for the people of Africa.

With the African Development Fund (AfDF), the AfDB also has a separate lending window, which grants the poorest member countries loans on preferential terms and non-repayable grants.

Since its establishment in 1972, the AfDF has represented an enduring partnership for development between AfDF donors and African countries, becoming an important source of funding and technical assistance for some 40 low-income countries in the most challenging environments. The resources of the fund are replenished every three years by the 30 donor countries who are supporting the fund. These replenishment negotiations are an opportunity to discuss the strategic and operational orientation of the fund. The last negotiations were concluded in Luxembourg in November 2016.


Adapting vocational training to the demand on the labour market helps to lower unemployment.


Switzerland and the AfDB

Switzerland has been supporting the AfDF since its foundation in 1972 and has been a member of the AfDB since 1982. It shares a constituency with Germany, Portugal and Luxembourg. Switzerland is an active participant in the Board of Directors’ deliberations and decision-making, thereby fulfilling its supervisory function as a shareholder. Since August 2017, Switzerland is represented by a Director for the next three years.

Regarding the AfDB’s operational activities, Switzerland is committed to the following objectives:

  • Greater concentration on fragile states and conflict contexts
  • Good governance
  • Poverty reduction
  • Private sector development
  • Climate-resilient and eco-friendly growth
  • Promotion of gender equality and human development

Last modification 08.07.2019

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