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Find out everything about Jobs and Careers with the AfDB!

Working for an organization such as the African Development Bank (AfDB) is an opportunity that could change your life. The organization combines good remuneration with meaningful work that can help millions of people improve their quality of life. You will be able to construct influential networks as well as receive encouragement to develop professionally. In addition, working for the AfDB means having a global career with a global reach, in a multicultural and pleasant environment.

Because of the above-mentioned reasons, in addition to a competitive remuneration package, career mobility, and the support that successful candidates receive once they are assigned to a position at the organization, AfDB Jobs selection processes are highly sought-after by many young professionals, making them highly competitive.

In pursuit of its mission, the OpenIGO network has developed support and guidance services, with the aim of highly increasing your chances of success in these competitive selection processes.

These include an Application Review and a Mock Interview – based on the African Development Bank’s original model.

We have prepared a special offer for you!

african development bank ebook

AfDB overview

The African Development Bank (AFDB) was created in 1964 with the aim of promoting the economic growth and social development of its Regional Member Countries (RMC). As part of its recent strategy, the Bank will seek to tackle problems in countries suffering from economic frailty and violence, to encourage agricultural productivity to reduce poverty and hunger, as well as gender inequalities that slow economic progress in African countries. AfDB has sought to strengthen public-private partnerships, co-financing strategies, and instruments for risk reduction in order to mobilize resources and attract new investment partners.

AfDB’s main focus: Fighting poverty and promoting socio-economic progress on the African continent.

Themes addressed by the AfDB:

  • Fragile States
  • Agriculture
  • Food Security
  • Gender

AfDB Jobs - Selection Processes

In addition to the wide range of AfDB vacancies listed on the institution’s website, the organization also has specific selection programs for some of its positions. We will present the main selection programs in this section.

1) AfDB Young Professionals Program (YPP)

The African Development Bank Young Professionals Programme (better known as the AfDB YPP) is an annual initiative focused on the selection and recruitment of distinguished and highly qualified young professionals from different parts of the world. Every year, about 8.000 – 10.000 candidates, from AfDB member countries, apply for a chance to work as an international civil servant with the Bank. The applicants selected are invited to take part in a professional development program, so that they can start a successful career with the organization. Furthermore, the AF YPP Salary is a good start point for a young professional.

The AfDB YPP application represents a great entry opportunity for professionals with little experience who are looking to kick-start their career at the organization. The positions offered to candidates who succeed in this selection process are entry-level professional posts and, therefore, do not require extensive work experience.

To help you succeed in the AfDB YPP, OpenIGO Network has developed a series of AfDB -related services. These include revising your application documents and a mock interview, based on the AfDB Young Professionals Programme model.

Click the link below:

AfDB YPP – Products & Services


2) AfDB Internship Program

Along with the YPP, the AfDB internship program is the main entryway for young professionals. The purpose of the program is to offer vacancies to graduate students, creating a link between the Bank’s operational needs, the area in which the intern is being trained, and the need for the intern to gain professional experience in order to take on future positions.

To know more about it, visit our page overviewing the whole internship program:

AfDB Internships – Overview


3) Employment of short-term staff

Among the professional options at the AfDB, there is a short-term option for those who have specific skills, according to the Bank’s needs. Particularly after the AfDB return to its headquarters in Abidjan, the institution has open opportunities for a large number of functions that are not directly related to the core of the Bank, but which are necessary for specific projects or tangent actions of the Bank. The employment of short-term personnel has three objectives:

i. assist with additional activities not projected in the normal work programme;
ii. replacement of regular personnel who are absent over long periods;
iii. occupy vacant positions within the time limits set by the Bank.

4) Consultancy

In fact, the AfDB does not have a consultancy program but this type of work is so pertinent for the organization that we decided to include a topic here on this subject. Consultancy vacancies are offered due to an organization’s need to fill specific positions in some of its projects or areas.

Consultancy is an excellent way of starting a working relationship with the Bank. It is true that the contract is to work for a defined period but it will enable you to network and maintain long-term contact with the organization. Firstly, to be an AfDB consultant, you must be a specialist in one of its working areas, with some additional knowledge of one of the regions of the world.

  • Among the activities carried out by consultants are:
  • writing reports and technical opinions;
  • assisting with project planning and development;
  • conducting research, and;
  • working as a work team advisor.

Those interested in this type of vacancy should search the organization’s website to find the vacancy that best fits your profile. The minimum requirements for consultants vary from vacancy to vacancy but, generally speaking, they require university qualifications, fluency in English and experience in the working area.

With regards to the documents required, prepare your Resume or Curriculum Vitae and a Cover Letter, presenting your qualifications and why you are interested in working for the AfDB and why African development in an important goal for you.

As a consultant, you will not be part of the AfDB’s permanent staff, but will have the right to organizational identification (ID), a salary payment and access to some of the benefits, according to the type of contract signed.

AfDB Jobs - General Requirements

Before applying for a vacancy at an organization, it is important to understand which staff profile it employs and looks for in its selection processes. This will help you to: understand if your professional profile fits with what the organization is looking for; to get ready, in order to have greater chances of success in future selection processes, and prepare better curriculum and application documents required for your application.

Therefore, an overview of the AfDB staff profile will be presented in this section, so that you will be able to gain a better understanding of what this organization looks for in its human resources.

1) Educational Level

In the AfDB selection process, the candidate’s academic background is a crucial attribute, having at first an eliminatory character, and later a classificatory one. The work normally carried out at the institution possesses a high level of complexity, demanding skills that are commonly obtained through higher education in areas such as economics, finance, accounting, and computer science, among others.

As they work for a bank, naturally, most of the AfDB staff’s daily activities involve topics directly related to finance, such as macro and microeconomics, investments, and sector analysis. However, the complex dynamics of the institution, with its several fronts of action, result in an expansion of the professional qualifications needed of its staff.

A good example of this is ADB’s recent substantive focus, which goes beyond economic analysis, on issues of gender, environment and urban planning. Consequently, these themes, as well as those related to the economic sphere, also require a high level of qualification.

While not a requirement, AfDB highly recommends that its staff, in addition to a bachelor’s degree, hold degrees at the MBA or a master’s, or doctoral degree in another field. However, the excellence of candidates who participate in the selection processes makes recommendation the rule, since in most cases, candidates with CVs considered average already possess one of the above-mentioned degrees.

2) Areas of Specialization and Expertise

Since AfDB’s creation, its core functions have expanded greatly throughout the years. Consequently, new thematic and sectorial knowledge became fundamental for the IGO’s operational day-to-day. Currently, AfDB has the following 14 sectors and thematic areas:

  • Agriculture and Agro-industries
  • Health
  • Climate Change
  • Human Capital Development
  • Economics & Finance Governance
  • Information & Communication Technology
  • Education
  • Infrastructure
  • Energy & Power
  • Private Sector
  • Environment
  • Transport
  • Gender
  • Water Supply & Sanitation

3) Professional Experience

Generally speaking, candidates who are successful in the various AfDB selection processes have had some prior work experience. If your dream is to work for AfDB, you should look to gain work experience in areas related to international development.

These experiences may take place at other international organizations, non-governmental organizations, in the government, or in the private sector. Your role may be as a consultant, volunteer, intern, researcher, or staff member. You should prioritize experiences linked to your area of expertise and contribute to the wide range of development topics, since the bank focuses on addressing development challenges.

Another aspect to consider is the importance of gaining work experience in developing or under-developed member countries, as most of AfDB’s work focuses on these locations. This is not a requirement but could make a significant difference. Therefore, if you live in a developed country, do not miss an exchange or internship opportunity in a developing country.

4) Competencies and Skills

It is not just educational background and professional experience that are important in ADB’s selections. The organization rigorously assesses candidates’ competencies at all times during the process.

Therefore, you should aim to develop the desired competencies, as they will be evaluated and tested during the various stages of the ADB selection process and have significant weight in the recruiters’ evaluation.

Below, we list the most common competencies and skills required by ADB professionals to prepare for the different selection processes:

  • Technical Expertise
  • Strong academic background
  • Prior experience in your profession
  • Multidisciplinary experience
  • Dynamism, innovation, creativity, integrity, teamwork, results-orientation and problem-solving capability
  • Sense of judgment, demonstrate a passion for working in a multi-lateral development institution and for working towards the development of Africa]
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English
  • Capability to adapt to a multicultural environment
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft operating systems (PowerPoint, Excel, Word, SAP, etc.)

AfDB Jobs - Interview

To exemplify AfDB’s interview mechanisms, we have used the AfDB YPP interview stage below. Note that other opportunities at the AfDB may vary slightly from this.

The AfDB interview process generally includes two stages: a) Personality Assessment Interview (online); b) On-Site Interview (AfDB’s HQ). The following sections will elucidate the differences between these two stages.

 1. Personality online assessment interview

The personality assessment AfDB interview is conducted online (by video conference) and functions as a pre-selection phase for long-listing candidates. This phase aims to identify the presence of soft skills and general aspects of the candidates’ personality.

2. On-Site Interview (AfDB’s Head Quarters).

 After the Online AfDB interview, the Short-Listed candidates are invited to the AfDB Head Quarter (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire), with all related costs sponsored, to a panel interview. For the On-Site Interview, AfDB uses the traditional and technical interview model with the purpose of testing the candidates’ technical knowledge and their domain about the organization’s operations and objectives. 

Candidates are usually asked two types of questions:

  • Introductory and traditional questions (questions regarding the main motivation that led the candidate to apply for the AfDB or questions about their experience and employment history
  • Technical questions regarding their working area or development and Africa oriented

To help you feel more secure and greatly improve your performance during the AfDB YPP interview stage, OpenIGO Network has developed a mock interview, as per the AfDB YPP model, with a specialized professional who has extensive experience.

Click on the link below to find out more about our ADB YPP Mock Interview service:

AfDB Mock Interview

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