Mid-life crisis as the African Development Bank turns 50.
These are heady times for the African Development Bank. Against a background of resurgent economic growth, the AfDB started to celebrate its 50th birthday at its Annual Meeting in Rwanda in May. The celebration attracted a galaxy of African political and business leaders for some unexpectedly forthright discussions about the state of the continent. Over the coming months, the bank returns to its ancestral seat in Côte d’Ivoire, which it left a decade ago, at the height of the civil war. Over that time, many African economies have doubled or tripled in size, thanks to better national management, a huge boost in trade with Asia and investment by Western companies. That upturn in capital inflows raises questions about the future of the AfDB and other multilateral financial institutions.