Ireland has joined the African Development Bank Group after its President Akinwumi Adesina's formal declaration of the country's membership.

Founded in 1963, the African Development Bank is a regional multilateral development bank focused on reducing poverty, improving living conditions for Africans and mobiliseing resources for its economic and social development. 

Headquartered in Côte d'Ivoire, membership of the bank now comprises 54 African countries and 26 non-African countries. Ireland has become the 81st country to become a member (27th non-regional member)

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said the move was an important addition to the ever-deepening ties that continue to inform Ireland's relationship to Africa and its people. 

"The African Development Bank and the African Development Fund play an important role in fostering sustainable and inclusive social and economic growth and prosperity, helping the African continent to realise its potential to be the continent of promise and opportunity," Mr Donohoe said. 

"I see our membership 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," he added.

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney said that membership of the Bank will further strengthen the role Ireland plays in sustainable and inclusive development in Africa. 

"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," he added.