AfDB named the world’s best multilateral bank


The African Development Bank (AfDB) has been named the best multilateral financial institution in the world by a prestigious US Magazine, underlying its transformation into a solutions bank for the continent.

The award by Global Finance is an affirmation of the success of the operational strategy being pursued by the AfDB, under the leadership of Akinwumi Adesina, who was unanimously re-elected to a second consecutive five-year term as president of the institution last year. 

“With widespread expectations of consolidation in multiple sectors and all around the world, investment banks will play a leading role in reshaping the world economy post-pandemic,” publisher and editorial director of Global Finance Joseph Giarraputo said while announcing the winning list. 

He added: “Companies need more than ever to understand the specialties and skills that investment banks bring to the table. Global Finance awards are a valuable guide.”

Last year, AfDB received broad recognition for responding swiftly to the needs of the African continent in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and for its pioneering role in the global social bond market. 

During the same period, AfDB was also named the best issuer for its US$3bn Fight Covid-19 social bond, issued on March 27, 2020. 

The Bank’s Fight Covid-19 social bond was the largest ever US$-denominated bond in world history, floated on the Luxembourg stock exchange, and listed on the London Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Platform. 

In March last year, AfDB received the Environmental Finance’s 2020 bond of the year award—SSA category— for a successful one billion Norwegian Krone social bond issued in 2019. It was the first social bond ever launched in the Norwegian market, and AfDB first transaction in Norwegian Krone. 

Since 2017, AfDB has launched nearly US$5bn worth of such instruments, denominated in US dollars, euros and Norwegian Krone.

“I am delighted at Global Finance’s recognition of AfDB as the best multilateral financial institution in the world in 2021. I am proud that for the first time since its establishment in 1964, AfDB has risen to a position as a foremost globally-respected financial institution,” Adesina said.

He described the award as one which was “duly earned” and credited the bank’s continued success to a new culture of results, strong client orientation, leadership, creativity and continued innovation by a team of excellent staff across all its jurisdictions.

“We are constantly innovating, developing and deploying financial, investment and knowledge products to meet the rapidly changing needs of African countries and the private sector,” Adesina said.

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