Digital & Innovation

Digital technologies and innovation renew the options for access to essential services, open up societies to new knowledge and make the economy more collaborative. These are all opportunities to speed up development paths and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

However, digital technologies and innovation also pose a challenge. It involves providing the most effective support possible to the dynamics already initiated by our partners and promoting a wide and equitable dissemination of new models. In the many projects we finance, we thereby uphold an open, inclusive and responsible vision of digital innovation.
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Promoting new solutions for sustainable development and to reduce inequality of access.
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Accompanying the Digital Revolution

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Accompanying the Digital Revolution

Technological innovation, and digital innovation in particular, is a factor of wealth creation and it enables new solutions to be designed in favour of sustainable development. It induces multiple social impacts, on ways of thinking, our relationship to time, employment, of which we need to get the full measure.
 
But it also breeds new inequalities, of access, in particular of access to local content, of mastering usages and techniques, risks of cyber-vulnerability, deficiencies in public policies or weaknesses in digital innovation ecosystems. Digital technology also poses growing problems of energy consumption. The robotisation of certain activities could have major consequences, as yet unknown, for developing and emerging countries.

AFD aims to promote the role of these technologies in accelerating development trajectories. We accompany the societal impacts of the digital revolution, and we carry the French and European vision of the great societal, ecological and economic issues around the digital transition and new technologies: cyber-security, net neutrality, open source, personal data protection, cultural diversity and environmental protection. We defend responsible management of public data.
 

Accelerating the Achievement of the SDGS

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Accelerating the Achievement of the SDGS

AFD wishes to make digital technology an asset that contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We integrate it in all our areas of intervention as a vector of acceleration of development trajectories. And the digital aspect is now a component in its own right in the preparation and monitoring of the programmes we fund.

We provide support for the digital transformation of governments (e-government), cities and local areas (smart cities, smart villages). With the IDDRI, we have published an interactive guide intended to help reinforce the digital capacities of local public actors. We also support the use of digital technology in favour of the climate (green techs).

In the projects we support and in our assessment of them, we use the power of data science to provide more openness, accountability and impact. In Mexico, we have financed the creation of a digital platform which tracks the use of funds intended for the areas affected by the earthquakes of 2017. We are supporting the OPAL project in Senegal and Colombia, which is intended to exploit private enterprise data for the public good, in a secure and ethical way.

To contribute to curbing deforestation in Côte d'Ivoire, we are supporting the roll-out of the GeoPoppy application which collects data on cultivated and forested areas. On the health side, the MobiSan project in Burkina Faso has turned mobile phones into remote medical assistants. In addition, since 2016 we have been organising the AFD Digital Challenge, a worldwide competition for start-ups that helps to raise the profile of innovative young firms and speed up their projects in favour of development in Africa.

Reducing the Digital Divide

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Reducing the Digital Divide

AFD means to contribute to increasing access to the Internet and reducing the digital divide. We promote universal connectivity by the extension, reinforcement and securing of digital infrastructure. Beyond the infrastructure, we also provide support with training and the introduction of standards enabling access to these technologies for all.

For example, we supported the connection of Wallis and Futuna to a high-speed submarine cable. The aim being to bring France's most distant overseas territory into the digital age.

Developing Cultural Industries

Digital and innovation

Developing Cultural Industries

In 2018 the French Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development (CICID) confirmed the "cross-cutting role of culture in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)" and entrusted the AFD Group with a mandate to "develop a financing offer to support the cultural and creative industries in developing countries, in particular in Africa".

We see the opportunities for intervention in this new sector as a powerful lever for inclusive local development and as a vector to promote French speaking (la Francophonie), freedom of expression and diversity in cultural expression. Our subsidies in this area go primarily into technical assistance and support.

Digital technology and innovation are also renewing the possibilities for accessing essential services, opening societies up to new knowledge and making their economies more collaborative.

Starting from the observation that technological innovation, and in particular digital innovation, is a factor of wealth creation and that it enables new solutions to be designed in favour of sustainable development, AFD is supporting its partners in their digital and technological transition. Our goal is to make digital technology, technology transfer and cross innovation assets that will contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), whilst reducing inequality of access.

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