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AFD announces winners of 1st edition of its Professional Photography Prize

The winners of the 1st edition of the AFD Development Reporters Photography Prize received their awards last night during a ceremony organized at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie. The topic for this year’s prize for professionals was “Cities and People”. With over 100 participants, AFD is delighted with the success of this 1st edition. The jury, chaired by Alain Mingam, a well-known photojournalist, awarded prizes to Laurent Weyl, Patrick Willocq and Alain Buu.


This Prize aims to raise the awareness of photojournalism in terms of development issues and AFD’s mandate. It also provides the opportunity to pay tribute to the essential and indispensable work of some of the most committed photographers.

Spotlight on the three 2012 winners

  • Canon – AFD Prize for the Best Web Documentary: Laurent Weyl for "Squatteurs, soyez les bienvenus !" (Squatters welcome!) 

Prize: A Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera with zoom EF 24-105 mm f/4L IS USM, worth EUR 6,000. 

© Laurent Weyl
Laurent Weyl and the writer Donatien Garnier spent five weeks in one of the largest slums in northern Lima to make this web documentary and shared the daily lives of squatter families. The capital of Peru offers an unusual alternative: if squatters manage to organize themselves and collectively invest in coherent, self-organized urban planning, they can become owners of their plots. This system, which is unique in the world, may be controversial and flawed in many respects, but it does have two benefits: urban planning at no cost for the authorities; access to safe housing and economic development for the poorest.
Laurent Weyl was born in Strasbourg in 1971. He decided to focus his work on social documentaries and geopolitics. His work is regularly shown and screened in photography festivals and he works with both the French and international press. Laurent has been based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, since 2012. 


  • AFD Prize for the best Photo Report: Patrick Willocq for "Sur la route de Bikoro à Bokonda" (On the road from Bikoro to Bokonda)

Prize: EUR 7,000 euros and the acquisition of a print for up to EUR 4,000 for AFD’s collection.

© Patrick Willocq
The AFD Photography Prize winner for the best Photo Report bears witness to daily lives in the Bantou and Batwa pigmy villages in Equateur Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Patrick Willocq’s aim through this work is to show the peace that prevails in the west of the country, with the help of villagers. This reality is far removed from the one in the east of the country, which is widely covered by Western media.

Patrick Willocq, 43, has lived abroad for over 30 years, including 7 years in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This self-taught photographer decided to “come out of his darkroom” 2 years ago and launched his website . In 2012, the growing need to express his creativity through photography made him decide to become a full-time photographer.


  • Polka-AFD Photography Prize for the Best Photo Report Project on a development topic: Alain Buu, for "Inde, surpopulation et manque d'eau" (India, overpopulation and lack of water)

Prize: EUR 18,000 to make the report, a publication in Polka magazine, an exhibition at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie and the acquisition of a print for up to EUR 4,000 for AFD’s collection. 
Alain Buu decided to address the topic of overpopulation and water-related problems in India. He used several works to design his project: The consequences of China’s one-child policy, published in Paris Match, a topic on a fishing technique which respects local customs in Mali and a report on the water war in Kenya.
Alain Buu is of Vietnamese origin and has been a photojournalist since 1989. He is a member of Orizon, an association of six freelance photographers which addresses topics including the consequences of China’s one-child policy and wars in Chad, Sudan and Darfur. He has had a book published by Gallimard called “On the Horsemen's Steps”.

Click here to see the winners’ projects on Objectif Développement (in French)

The winners of the AFD Development Reporters Photography Prize: from left to right: Patrick Willocq, Alain Buu and Donatien Garnier, representing Laurent Weyl 


“Our aim is to make this Prize a reference for all photo enthusiasts all over the world through the values and ideas it conveys. Participants’ enthusiasm in this first edition confirms the interest of this approach”, enthuses Dov Zerah, Chief Executive Officer of AFD. 

Prizes awarded by a distinguished jury

For Alain Mingam, President of the jury: “On behalf of the entire jury, I would like to congratulate the winners and all the candidates who sent us reports and projects of a rare intensity. The watchword was to put into images an uncompromising reality and they completely respected this requirement in this first edition, which has a promising future ahead of it!”  

Jury members 

  • Alain Mingam, photographer, President of the jury,
  • Daphné Anglès, European Picture Coordinator - New York Times,
  • Yann Arthus-Bertrand, photographer and director,
  • Hervé Brusini, Director of the national Web editorial team - France Télévisions,
  • Bertrand Gallet, Chief Executive Officer - Cités Unies France,
  • Alain Genestar , Publications Director - Polka Magazine,
  • Pierre Haski, journalist, co-founder and contributor to the Rue 89 website,
  • Michel Le Bris, founder and director – "Étonnants Voyageurs" (Amazing Travelers) Festival (St Malo),
  • Sylvaine Lecoeur, Managing Director – PixPalace,
  • Michiel Munneke, Managing director - World Press Photo,
  • Jean-Luc Monterosso, Director – Maison Européenne de la Photographie,
  • Julien Pain, Director of the website and TV program Les Observateurs – France 24,
  • Michel Puech, journalist - Mediapart / associate editor - Le journal de la photographie,
  • Mina Rouabah, Head of the Photography Department – Libération,
  • Caroline Stein, Head of Partnerships and Institutional Relations – Central Dupon Images,
  • Estelle Veyret, Development Director – Reuters


Partners of the AFD Development Reporters Photography Prize

Click here to download the Press Kit (in French)

AFD works on a daily basis to improve living conditions for the poorest urban dwellers by investing in sustainable infrastructure that is accessible to all, “climate change” programs that aim to mitigate the urban impact on the environment, urban health centers and projects for sanitation and access to drinking water, and by supporting sustainable urban policies.

72% of French people think that development assistance is not a waste of money


Mr. Pascal Canfin, Minister Delegate for Development at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Dov Zerah, Chief Executive Officer of Agence Française de Développement (AFD), this morning presented the results of the latest poll conducted by IPSOS for AFD on the French and Development Assistance.

Mr. Pascal Canfin, Minister Delegate for Development at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Dov Zerah, Chief Executive Officer of Agence Française de Développement (AFD), this morning presented the results of the latest poll conducted by IPSOS for AFD on the French and Development Assistance.
With current discussions about official development assistance, marked by the French Government organizing Conferences on Development and International Solidarity and a difficult economic situation, the French have underscored their attachment to assistance for developing countries, although they are divided over its effectiveness. They feel that France’s efforts towards development assistance should primarily focus on Sub-Saharan Africa and the fight against poverty. The French believe that environmental protection contributes to development. Among development assistance actors, NGOs are recognized for their effectiveness, credibility and impartiality. The French consider that for France’s development assistance policy to be effectively implemented, it should be allocated more resources: almost half of the French think that the Government’s budget allocation for it should be increased and that revenues from the European Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) should be earmarked for the fight against poverty and major pandemics in developing countries.


► Download the results of the latest poll conducted by IPSOS

Stéphane Zumsteeg, directeur du département Opinion Ipsos, Pascal Canfin, ministre délégué auprès du ministre des Affaires étrangères, chargé du Développement, et Dov Zerah, directeur général de l’AFD durant la conférence de presse © Alain Goulard/AFD

The French are attached to France’s official development assistance, although they remain very divided over its effectiveness. 

• One French person in two thinks that France’s assistance to developing countries is effective (51%). However, this recognition remains limited, as the French consider it to be quite effective (47%) rather than very effective (4%).

• Yet these mixed opinions over its effectiveness do not affect French people’s attachment to official development assistance:

- Over 7 French people in 10 think that development assistance is not a waste of money (72%); although at the same time they do say that they feel corruption in developing countries undermines the effectiveness of aid (70%);
- Nearly 3 French people in 4 think that it is useful, but not sufficient (74%) in view of the challenges;
- Despite the economic situation, a majority of French people think it is normal for France to help developing countries, even if it is currently experiencing budget problems (65%).


Sub-Saharan Africa, a priority beneficiary of French official development assistance

• The French think that France’s operations must give priority to Sub-Saharan African countries (56%). Next come North African countries (17%), South American countries (13%), Asian countries (9%) and Near and Middle East countries (5%).
 The fight against poverty, the overarching objective of official development assistance

• A strong attachment to the fight against poverty…: a majority of French people consider that the fight against poverty is France’s primary objective in terms of assistance to developing countries (56%):
- 41% of them think that France’s assistance should contribute to the development of democracy and human rights;
- 30% consider that development assistance should contribute to protecting the global environment.

• …this goal is by far the most important among the 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): 3 in 4 French people feel that eradicating extreme poverty and hunger is by far the most important goal (75%). The sectors of health and education complete the top three goals (combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, 48%; achieve universal primary education 44%), followed by environmental preservation (35%).

• Environmental protection is also a cross-cutting development challenge: a large majority of French people think that asking developing countries to reconcile economic development and respect for the environment is above all a way to develop while preserving their natural resources (87%).

NGOs seen as key actors in development assistance

NGOs are recognized by the French as being key actors in development assistance: the most effective (35%), the most credible (26%) and the most impartial (24%). 
These actors benefit from a high level of visibility from their humanitarian activities.


France’s official development assistance requires more resources to implement its policy

• Nearly one French person in two considers that the French Government’s budget allocation for development assistance should be increased (44%). A third suggest that it should be maintained as it is, while only 18% of French people want it to be reduced. 

• Although the revenues from the European Financial Transaction Tax should first be earmarked for domestic economic activities (boost economic growth, 70%; reduce the public deficit, 55%), this tax also provides a way to leverage additional resources for development assistance. Indeed, nearly one French person in two wants these revenues to be earmarked for the fight against poverty and major pandemics in developing countries.

For Pascal Canfin, these results show the extent to which French people are attached to official development assistance, including during a period of budget constraint. This poll also shows French people’s legitimate expectations in terms of the transparency and effectiveness of aid. I myself share these concerns and they are central to the Conferences on Development and International Solidarity which I am currently organizing.

For Mr. Dov Zerah, the results of the poll truly give legitimacy to our action: the aspirations of French people coincide very largely with AFD’s priorities as set out in the Strategic Orientation Plan 2012-2016 which we recently adopted.


Methodology note: The poll was conducted by IPSOS on a representative sample of 1,007 French people aged 15 and over questioned online from 31 October to 6 November. Quota method: sex, age, profession of the reference person in the household, region and size of town.

About AFD

Agence Française de Développement (AFD) is a public development finance institution that has been working to fight poverty and foster economic growth in developing countries and the French Overseas Communities for seventy years. It executes the policy defined by the French Government.
AFD is present on four continents where it has an international network of seventy agencies and representation offices, including nine in the French Overseas Communities and one in Brussels. It finances and supports projects that improve people’s living conditions, promote economic growth and  protect the planet, such as schooling for children, maternal health, support  for farmers and small businesses, water supply, tropical forest preservation,  and the fight against climate change.
In 2011, AFD approved nearly €6.9 billion to finance activities in developing countries and the French Overseas Communities. The funds will help get 4 million children into primary school and 2 million into secondary school; they will also improve drinking water supply for 1.53 million people. Energy efficiency projects financed by AFD in 2011 will save nearly 3.8 million tons of CO2 emissions annually.

Download the results of the AFD/IPSOS poll
“The French and Development Assistance” on AFD’s website and at

Press contacts:
Magali Mévellec (AFD) - Tel.: 01 53 44 40 31 -
Frédérique Tarride (Pascal Canfin’s Office) – Tel.: 01 43 17 65 53 -
Marion Carcreff (Hopscotch agency) - Tel.: 01 58 65 00 96 -
Stéphane Zumsteeg (Ipsos) – Tel.: 01 41 98 92 76 -


AFD and West African Development Bank sign three new cooperation agreements


On 15 November 2012, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of AFD, Mr. Didier Mercier, and the President of the West African Development Bank (BOAD), Mr. Christian Adovelandé, signed three new cooperation agreements during their 5th annual meeting.

  1. A partnership agreement between AFD’s Center for Financial, Economic and Banking Studies (CEFEB) and BOAD to expand the scope of their partnership for training, capacity building and to develop the expertise of BOAD executives;
  2. A EUR 75 m credit line to refinance projects under the Regional Initiative for Sustainable Development (IRED) of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU);
  3. A EUR 0.5m grant to support contracting authorities in the energy sector.

Agreement marks nearly 40 years of cooperation

Both institutions are preparing to celebrate – in 2013 – 40 years of financial and technical partnerships for the development of the WAEMU zone. Since 1973, eleven concessional/non-concessional credit lines have been allocated to BOAD by AFD. They have been combined with capacity building support in several areas: asset/liability management, guarantee appraisal and management, the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism, CSR, agricultural expertise and energy expertise.

This cooperation has also made it possible to finance several development projects, including:

  • in Senegal: drinking water supply in the cities of Kaolack, Fatick, Koungheul and Ziguinchor;
  • in Mali: agricultural development of the paddy fields in northern Molodo at the Office du Niger;
  • in Côte d’Ivoire: hydro-agricultural development of M’Bahiakro;
  • in Niger: establishment of an integrated cement plant in Malbaza by the Société Nigérienne de Cimenterie (SNC) SA;
  • in Benin: reinforcement and extension of the drinking water supply network of the City of Cotonou and its surrounding areas;
  • in Togo: upgrading of infrastructure and facilities at the Autonomous Port of Lomé in the Togolese Republic;
  • in Burkina Faso: hydro-agricultural development of Liptako Gourma (phase 3)
  • in Guinea Bissau: infrastructure upgrading.

 Training is also an important part of this partnership. CEFEB trains executives from BOAD every year.


About BOAD

BOAD is the common development finance institution of the WAEMU countries. Its purpose, as provided for in its Articles of Association, is to promote a balanced development of its member countries – Benin, Burkina-Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo – and to achieve the economic integration of West Africa.

The Bank traditionally operates via short- and medium-term direct loans, allocates refinancing lines to local banks to assist small- and medium-sized enterprises, extends financing for project feasibility studies or engineering studies and guarantees bond issues. In order to meet market requirements and enhance its support for governments and the private sector in the Union, the Bank has explored other areas and has focused its strategy on the short term, assistance, financial advisory services, financing arrangements, carbon finance and financing for projects eligible under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

BOAD finances its activity through a cooperation network made up of international donors, European and Asian countries, as well as an annual debt issuance program. Its share capital rose from FCFA 350bn in 2000 to FCFA 1,050bn in 2010 and its equity from FCFA 82bn to FCFA 176bn over the same period. Building on its experience of the regional financial market, BOAD will soon be given a rating in order to have additional access to international financial market resources. These different operations show BOAD’s commitment to adapt to its environment and to continue to work alongside the communities of the WAEMU zone in order to meet the many sub-regional development challenges.

The volume of loans approved since the implementation of the 2009-2013 Strategic Plan stood at FCFA 504,654m at the end of September 2012.

The Bank’s total loan approvals since 1976 stood at FCFA 2,227.1m FCFA at the end of September 2012, corresponding to 612 funded projects.


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