2012 is drawing to a close with sharp growth in AFD’s activity in Asia (+60%). This growth has been marked by a scaling up of action to fight against climate change. The identification of projects in new geographical areas gives a promising sign of new operations in Central Asia and the Caucasus.
Climate issues the priority
• An overall growth in activities, highlighting the priority AFD gives to climate issues (over 70% of its activity). This is particularly the case in China and India, where its operations now come at no cost to the French Government and support global public goods and French influence.
• The first projects planned in new countries of operation, such as Bangladesh and Burma.
• Intense project identification activities in Central Asia and the Caucasus.
• A strengthening of AFD’s traditional partnerships in Asia (Asian Development Bank, JICA) and the launch of new partnerships scaling up AFD’s presence in the region. This concerns initial contacts with Korean and Australian cooperation and the first mobilizations of European financing under the investment facilities.
• The strong social, economic and environmental impact of the development programs that are implemented – particularly in China to rebuild Sichuan Province – with a focus on infrastructure, sanitation and renewable energy development (biogas via the development of biodigesters in China and India).
New objectives, new regions in 2013
• Implementation of AFD’s new strategy for operations in Asia for 2013-2015, based on support for sustainable development and economic diplomacy, which will subsequently be translated into country strategies (initially Indonesia, Vietnam, China and India).
• New growth in activity expected, particularly with the first operations in Central Asia and the Caucasus.
• The celebration of the 20th anniversary of AFD’s presence in Asia, which began with its operations in Vietnam, Cambodia and Lao PDR in 1993.
AFD’s Board of Directors approved a €14.295 grant to the Republic of Afghanistan on behalf of the French State for an economic development program.
The French army’s deployment area in Afghanistan covers the province of Kapisa and the district of Surobi in Eastern Kabul and concerns roughly 500,000 people. This area has received little support from international actors due to security reasons and its remoteness, leaving communities completely impoverished. In order to address these needs, in 2009 France launched a €15m civil-military cooperation program for agricultural and rural development in this area. In 2010, this program was completed by a €16m program and it was decided to pursue it and extend it in 2011. The agricultural actions will improve the food situation in the region and will increase monetary incomes for families. Access to electricity will give the region greater economic development potential. Communities will have wider access to health care thanks to improvements in the way hospitals operate and education will be improved with the renovation and equipment of school facilities and teacher training.
Dov Zerah, Chief Executive Officer of Agence Française de Développement, presented AFD’s 2010 results today. With €6.8 billion of commitment approvals, AFD’s activity continued its upward trend in 2010. AFD has scaled up its presence alongside its partners in developing and emerging countries and has set out to consolidate its economic model.
2010: a new year of growth to support development
With €832 million of budget resources allocated by the State, AFD provided €6.8 billion of project financing in 2010, i.e. an 11% rise on 2009. Its activity accounted for 28% of France’s official development assistance. AFD also paid back €104 million of dividends to the State.
Africa remains the priority with €2.1 billion of financing in 2010.
Two-thirds of the financing break down between infrastructure, urban development, productive sectors and agriculture.
In 2010, AFD’s financing will contribute to:
- Improving drinking water supply systems for 33 million people
- Getting 13.4 million children into primary school
- Upgrading or building transport hubs that will be used by 85.8 million passengers a year
- Supporting energy efficiency by saving 5 million tons of CO2 a year
- Providing access to electrification for 3 million people
- Allocating microfinance loans that will benefit just over 700 000 people
- Supporting agricultural or irrigation projects that will benefit 1.4 million people
2011: consolidation of economic model
Dov ZERAH, Chief Executive Officer of AFD: “AFD has experienced a veritable revolution over the past few years. It has become a key player in development with an activity that has tripled in five years. Today, a new phase is beginning with the consolidation of our model.”
In the coming years, AFD will be focusing its activity on three priority areas:
- Sub-Saharan Africa: 60% of resources allocated to AFD by the State will be earmarked for this region, particularly for the sectors of agriculture and agro-industries, infrastructure, education and health.
- The Mediterranean: AFD will be supporting the recent developments in the region by scaling up its operations in Mediterranean Basin countries, particularly in the productive and vocational training sectors.
- Emerging countries: AFD will be supporting these countries via loans with a low level of concessionality in order to encourage them to set out on a growth path that respects the environment more and is more inclusive.
Consolidating the model requires stabilizing AFD’s level of activity, which is expected to reach €8 billion by 2013. AFD set up a Risk Department in 2011 in order to improve risk management. It has also reinforced its human capital with 125 recruitments in 2010.
Dov ZERAH: “Beyond financing, it is our expertise that our partners are seeking. AFD will also be continuing to actively provide input to international debates through its knowledge production. We will, at the same time, be forging an increasing number of partnerships with other development players such as NGOs, local authorities, private foundations, or again multilateral banks. They help increase the outreach and effectiveness of our actions. In a globalized world, the only winning strategies are cooperation strategies.”
In 2011, AFD will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of its creation in 1941 by General de Gaulle. AFD will be marking the occasion by organizing events to meet the French public in order to raise their awareness of North-South issues and allow them to learn more about development results. A travelling open-air exhibition called “Objectif Développement”, designed in partnership with Magnum Photos, will be launched in Bordeaux on 21 May 2011. It will be travelling to all the major cities in France throughout the year.
Agence Française de Développement (AFD) is a public development finance institution that has been working to fight poverty and support economic growth in developing countries and the French Overseas Communities for 70 years. It implements the development policy defined by the French Government.
With agencies in over 50 countries, AFD finances and supports projects that improve people’s living conditions, promote economic growth and protect the planet: getting children into school, support for farmers and small businesses, water supply, tropical forest preservation, fight against climate change…