The Republic of Ireland has become the African Development Bank Group’s 81st shareholder, following a declaration issued by the institution’s President, Akinwumi Adesina, on 24 April 2020. Ireland’s application to join the African Development Bank Group was approved during the Annual meetings of the Board of Governors of the Bank Group held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, in June 2019.
In February 2020, the nation deposited the Instrument of Ratification of the Agreement Establishing the African Development Fund with the Secretary-General of the Bank Group during a delegation visit to the Bank’s headquarters, moving one step closer to concluding the membership process.
“Ireland’s joining the African Development Bank is a mark of great confidence in the Bank. I am delighted to welcome Ireland as the 81st member of the African Development Bank. Ireland’s membership and shareholder support will further boost the African Development Bank’s mission to accelerate Africa’s economic development,” African Development Bank’s President Akinwumi Adesina declared.
Commenting on the membership, Irish Minister for Finance and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe stated:
“The African Development Bank and its sister the African Development Fund play an important role in fostering sustainable and inclusive social and economic growth and prosperity, helping the African continent to realize its potential to be the continent of promise and opportunity. I see our membership of the Bank and Fund as an investment in this potential. Ireland’s partnership with these important regional multilateral institutions will both advance our shared development priorities and will open future opportunities for Irish businesses in the region.”
Ireland’s Strategy for Africa 2025 includes a commitment to collaborate with the critical financial institution on the continent, as well as to explore new partnerships to support policy development and program implementation; and deepen 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 5s strategy.
“This marks an important deepening 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,” he said.
“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,” Coveney added.
Membership of the Bank Group is subject to the signing of the Agreements establishing the Fund and Bank, deposit of the instruments of acceptance/approval of the Fund and the Bank Agreements, and the payment of the initial subscriptions to the Fund and capital stock of the Bank.
Ireland fulfilled those requirements, having made payments for its initial subscriptions and also depositing its instrument of ratification of the Bank Agreement with the United Nations, the statutorily appointed depositary and its initial deposit of the instrument of acceptance of the Fund Agreement with the Secretary-General of the Bank Group.
Established in 1964, the African Development Bank Group authorized capital is subscribed by 81 member countries, made up of 54 African countries (regional members) and 27 non-African countries (non-regional members).