© 2021 Indian Council of World Affairs.This article seeks to examine how regional organisations in Africa are responding to the growing call for them to provide alternative approaches and models of economic development in the continent. The study interrogates the role of the African Development Bank (AfDB) as an agent of a changing global governance system and an emerging leader in Africa’s development journey. The article begins by reflecting on the debate of a decline in global governance; it looks at Africa within the global economy and examines the organisational structure, contributions and changing role of the AfDB since its inception. It concludes that the AfDB finds itself in a unique position of trust among donors and African states at a time when traditional institutions are becoming less popular. It recommends AfDB adopt a number of reforms needed to help it maximise its impact on the continent.