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Missions & Objectives


The very first meeting of Directors of African National Development Banks was held in August 1969 in Freetown, Republic of Sierra Leone. The purpose of the meeting, convened by the African Development Bank (ADB), was to ascertain their views on ways and means of strengthening cooperation between their institutions and the Bank.

Further meetings were held in Abidjan in May 1970 and were attended by representatives of the Development Banks of 23 African countries and delegates from regional institutions, such as the East African Development Bank and the Union Africaine et Malgache des Banques de Développement. Representatives of various international banks and other financing institutions also attended the meeting, which discussed a wide range of issues pertaining to organization, management and resource mobilization of the national development banks.

The outcome of a meeting held in Abidjan from 4 to 7 March 1975 was the creation of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions (AADFI) under the auspices of the African Development Bank. The establishment of the Association met the need for a continent-wide coordination and economic solidarity. The inaugural assembly held in Abidjan set up a liaison committee to draw up and finalize the Association's legal instruments. These were adopted by the Association's First General Assembly, which was convened for that purpose in Dakar, Senegal, on 2 and 3 May.


- To promote economic and social development in Africa throughout cooperation among banks and financial institutions
- To stimulate cooperation for the financing of economic and social development
- To establish among its members a machinery for systematic interchange of information
- To accelerate the process of economic integration in the African region
- To encourage studies realization bearing on common interests problems


The main activities of the AADFI are the provision of Information and Training in the techniques of banking and finance as well as development policy advice to African bankers and finance officers.

  • Training
  • Information
  • Co-operation
"Training and Guiding Development Agents". Considered as a top priority for the effective implementation of a viable long-term economic activity, training is given special attention each year in the AADFI programme of activities. AADFI organises its courses and seminars with the collaboration of the ADB Training Centre, the EDI (Economic Development Institute) of the World Bank, UNIDO and FINAFRICA. All these institutions perfectly understand the basic purpose of the seminars, which is to help the participants to improve the quality of their recommendations and decision-making in respect of project selection and financing. The seminars are organised in English and French.
AADFI courses are presented in the form of inter-related modules classified in terms of target-groups, mode of training and subjects covered.

In 1985, the Association launched a five-year training program covering the period 1985-1989. Its objective was to train 3000 development bank agents. The emphasis was however laid on a more pragmatic approach to the study of the constraints hampering the growth of development banks. That was why the Association's Secretariat recently undertook a vast consultation with member institutions, in order to elaborate yearly training programs that are fully responsive to the deep aspirations of AADFI members.

Executive Directors, Seniors Officers, Specialists, Bank Technicians and SME-SMI promoters at all levels of responsibility are actively involved in the AADFI training programme. This option is justified partly by the desire to offer all the agents within the same bank the opportunity to benefit from the innovation and experience acquired during the training sessions and round-tables. Another explanation is the fact that the heads of these institutions are convinced that training can largely contribute to the understanding of economic and socio-political realities of the continent. For example, it is worth noting that the mastery of the informal sector and the mobilisation of financial resources are pertinent solutions to the problem of rehabilitation of our national economies.

The Positive Features of AADFI Training

Since 2002, the central banking institutions in Africa sent nominees and observers to AADFI activities. This is an indication of positive interest and continued relationship of the central banks in the affairs of the national DFIs. For example, 10 senior level managers from 5 central banks participated in the AADFI April 2003 Workshop on DFIs' Best Practices, which took place in Nairobi. Similarly, delegates from Central Banks and commercial banks participated in the workshops held in Johannesburg for CEOs of DFIs on the themes "Change Management in DFIs" and "Log Frame as tool for project management"..
AADFI generally publishes the following :

- a quarterly information bulletin containing news of the Association and the general information likely to be of interest to member institutions;
- a review "FINANCE AND DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA", which is published twice a year and features articles written by leading figures in the economic and financial world,
- reports on AADFI seminars and round-table meetings;
- a Directory providing descriptive information on member institutions;
- AADFI Strategies: A document on the needs and potentialities of banks in the areas of development finance, information and training.
- an Annual Report of activities.
- An Annual Information Brochure of the Ordinary General Assembly.
- A brochure on the Association.

Furthermore, the AADFI is in the process of establishing a Databank at its Headquarters. This bank will contain financial, commercial and technical data intended to help members of the Association in their decision-making. Consultations have reached an advanced stage on the establishment, in concert with appropriate development institutions, of two other affiliate bodies :

(a) an African Development Banking Institute
(b) a Project and Programme Consultancy outfit.
In its bid to promote exchange of experience and information on project implementation and new forms of institutional and technical cooperation, AADFI maintains close collaboration with international organisations and cooperation agencies such as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the World Bank's Economic Development Institute, and with regional bodies such as the African Union, the African Development Bank, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) the Association of African Central Banks, NEPAD and other national and international organisations.

The Association is a member of the World Federation of Development Finance Institutions. In addition, it maintains excellent relations with other development bank associations, such as the Association of Latin American Development Finance Institutions (ALIDE), the Association of Development Finance Institutions of Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP), the Union Africaine and Mauricienne des Banques de Développement (UAMBD), the Association of regional and sub-regional development finance institutions in West Africa, the African Regional Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA), the World Assembly of Small and Medium Enterprises (WASME), based in New-Delhi.

The Association also cooperates with university centres and research institutes, such as the Projects Planning Centre of the University of Bradford, United Kingdom; the Centre for International Accounting Development, University of Texas, USA; the International Law Institute, Georgetown University, USA; the World Social Prospects Association, Switzerland, the Centre International de Formation pour la Profession Bancaire (CIFPB), Paris, the Centre Africain de Management et de Perfectionnement des Cadres (CAMPC).

The Association is composed of a General Assembly, an Executive Committee and a General Secretariat.

The General Assembly is the supreme organ responsible for laying down policies, determining regulations and other necessary provisions is the General Assembly, which holds its ordinary meetings once a year in one or other of the African countries in which its members are located.
Pursuant to the Association's by laws, Extraordinary Assemblies may also be convened. The General Assembly comprises all the members of the Association.

The Executive Committee is responsible for conducting the Association's activities and for supervising the General Secretariat. It comprises the Bureau, composed of the Chairman and two Vice-Chairmen. Five members representing the five sub-regions of the Continent as defined by the UN Economic Commission for Africa or as may be determined from time to time by the General Assembly; and a member elected by the Special and Honorary members.

The General Secretariat is the organ responsible for the implementation and managing the day-to-day activities of the Association. benefit from protocol services and assistance for business activities in Côte d'Ivoire, especially with the African Development Bank Group. benefit from institutional promotion in AADFI publications.

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