AFD is a partner and / or member of a number of networks gathering companies, experts and donors to work on the role played by the private sector in the development of Southern countries.
In January 2012, the AFD contributed 16 million dollars to financing for new methane plants at 8 production sites for cassava starch. The company operating the sites has installed a 23.6MW combined heat and power system using wastewater from the steep tanks adjacent to its production sites.
All of the renewable energy produced is used by the company’s production system, reducing its CO2 emissions by 534 000 tonnes a year. The project, costing a total of 41.3 million dollars, saves the company 5.3 million dollars a year in energy bills and brings in 2.7 million dollars from carbon credit sales (CDM).
It is using a 100 million dollar line of credit (non-concessional) provided to an Indonesian public bank in 2010. This line of credit is supporting energy management investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy and fuel-switching from oil to gas and coal, and is intended for public and private companies.
The line of credit is supporting the emergence of low-carbon projects, which are an essential component in Indonesia’s efforts to reach its ambitious targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions (the government has committed to emission reductions of 26 to 41% by 2020).
AFD is working to strengthen social cohesion and increase access to healthcare in this French Department, which has a particularly low level of healthcare coverage. It is doing so by promoting initiatives in the health and individual services sector, where the private sector plays a key role that is complementary to public service delivery.
French Guiana has significant needs for healthcare personnel and lacks equipment, particularly for persons with reduced mobility. This stems from the size of the Department (83,534 km², i.e. the size of Portugal), its strong demographic growth (+3.9% a year) and the lack of attractiveness of some areas in the region.
AFD is working to meet the growing needs of the region by promoting investments in the health sector that range from supporting public establishments in their investments (infrastructure and equipment) to financial support to entrepreneurs for their projects for individual services.
Guarantees from the DOM Fund (French Overseas Communities Fund) offered by AFD give entrepreneurs easier access to bank loans to finance their investments and develop their services for communities in French Guiana. Since it was set up in 1999, the French Guiana DOM Fund has supported the implementation of 610 business operations (start-ups, development and transfers) in French Guiana in all sectors.
Examples from the field
Helping a home hospitalization service company consolidate and develop its activity
French Guiana uses home hospitalization more than any other French region. AFD is contributing to financing works and equipment acquisitions that will allow this company to provide quality services and thus participate in improving healthcare coverage needs in the Department. Consult the project brief .
Supporting the transfer of a pharmacy to ensure continued service provision in remote municipalities
AFD’s support is helping the only pharmacy in the municipality of Apatou on the River Maroni to continue and develop its activity. The implementation of this project is helping to improve the social well-being of local communities and is making a positive contribution to opening up remote municipalities in French Guiana. Consult the project brief.
Supporting the development of a transport company for persons with reduced mobility in order to meet a growing demand for services
AFD is supporting investments to acquire new vehicles made by an SME transport company for persons with reduced mobility. This project aims to allow the company to meet growing demand and to respond to the bid invitations of public authorities. It specifically helps all children go to school, whatever their disability, and reduces the isolation and day-to-day challenges of dependents. Consult the project brieft.
Conférence Entreprises et Développement et présentation de l’étude sur la contribution des entreprises aux OMD
Depuis 2007, l’AFD cherche à promouvoir les différentes composantes de la RSE tant dans son fonctionnement interne que dans son champ d’action opérationnel et auprès de sa sphère d’influence.
L’AFD a lancé en particulier depuis 2008 une réflexion sur le rôle des entreprises en faveur du développement des sociétés et économies du Sud. Le colloque « Entreprendre pour le Développement » organisé en décembre 2008 sous la Présidence française de l’Union européenne, et en partenariat avec IMS-Entreprendre pour la Cité, a constitué une étape importante de cette réflexion.
Parallèlement, le ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes, qui a créé une fonction d’ambassadeur chargé de la Responsabilité Sociale des Entreprises (RSE) en 2008, promeut, dans les négociations internationales, l’idée que la RSE peut contribuer à une mondialisation plus humaine assurant une répartition plus juste des richesses. Tous deux ont lancé dans cet esprit, en 2010/2011, des analyses sur la contribution possible des entreprises à l’accès des plus pauvres aux services essentiels, en particulier ceux identifiés comme Objectifs du Millénaire pour le Développement.
L’AFD et le MAEE souhaitent poursuivre et renforcer le dialogue avec les entreprises et les différents acteurs concernés de la société civile autour de cette thématique. Les 25 et 26 octobre 2011, l’AFD a ainsi organisé deux conférences « Entreprises et Développement » à l’occasion de la réunion des pays donateurs du Global Compact.
Cet événement s'est déroulé en partenariat avec la Direction Générale de la Mondialisation, du Développement et des Partenariats du ministère des Affaires étrangères et éuropéennes, et en présence de l’ambassadeur à la responsabilité sociale des entreprises et à la bioéthique, Michel Doucin.
La première journée a été dédiée à la contribution des entreprises à la réalisation des OMD et a réuni de nombreuses entreprises françaises (groupe Bel, Veolia Environnement, Orange, GDF-Suez, Schneider Electric, Nutriset), membres du Global Compact France et du réseau sociétal IMS-Entreprendre pour la cité. Celles-ci, déjà engagées dans des stratégies d’accessibilité de leurs produits et services aux plus pauvres, ont échangé sur la base d’une étude (
) réalisée par le cabinet d'étude l'Observatoire du Bop (Base Of Pyramide) au sujet des multinationales dans quatre secteurs d’activité.
La journée du 26 octobre a été davantage consacrée à la relation ONG/Entreprises/acteurs publics avec une présentation de l’interface web mise en place par Coordination Sud et de plusieurs partenariats dans ce domaine (EDF/Electriciens Sans Frontières; Schneider Electric/Aide et Action; Total/Iram; Club Méditerranée/Agrisud).
A new study shows how Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) really help give base of the pyramid (BoP) communities sustainable access to education, health, agricultural services or financial services.
A study released today and conducted by Hystra and Ashoka, with support from AFD, Proparco, Ericsson, France Télécom-Orange, ICCO and TNO, offers new insight into effective and sustainable business models that have a positive socioeconomic impact for the poorest.
280 initiatives studied in Asia, Latin America and Africa
The study sought to learn lessons from existing approaches by analyzing over 280 initiatives implemented by different stakeholders (businesses, civil society organizations, social entrepreneurs…) in Asia, Latin America and Africa.
The projects studied use ICT to offer services to the poorest in 4 main sectors: education, health, agriculture and rural development, and financial services. The projects were evaluated by the study leader, Hystra, a consultancy firm specialized in hybrid strategies (social and economic strategies), and its partner Ashoka, a not-for-profit organization which has supported over 3,000 social entrepreneurs worldwide since 1981.
The analysis was based on 3 criteria:
- whether these projects are able resolve the problems they address,
- their financial viability,
- whether they can go beyond the experiment phase and be rolled out on a large scale and reproduced in other geographical areas.
The scale and results of the fifteen most innovative business models in the field show that ICT can be an engine for sustainably improving the standard of living of the poorest communities. In-depth case studies were conducted on them and are included in the report to support the main findings.
The economic sustainability of projects varies from one sector to another. The financial and rural development service sectors are in the strongest financial position.
- The most innovative projects offering “financial services” are the most mature in terms of sustainability and market mechanisms. They each manage to serve over ten million people who previously did not have access to banking services.
- In the agriculture and rural development sector, there are numerous mature and viable projects using ICT. They can have a real socioeconomic impact by increasing farmers’ incomes, while making the agricultural supply chain more efficient. This benefits all the stakeholders in the agricultural ecosystem.
- Among the sectors where ICT is used for development, the health sector is extremely dynamic. However, most projects are subsidized and their long-term financial viability is not secured, except for a few niches such as teleconsultation or SMS- based drug authentification.
- In the education sector, there are few projects based on market mechanisms targeting the most disadvantaged communities, whereas there is a growing demand in this sector.
New business models involving local agents or crowdsourcing effectively meet the needs of bottom of the pyramid communities.
Involving “local agents”, members of local communities with computer skills who act as an interface between the technologies and final users, helps give communities that have not been trained in how to use ICT technologies access to services based on these technologies. This business model also helps avoid having to resort to costly mass media campaigns in order to publicize the service: it is publicized by each intermediary in their own activity area.
Crowdsourcing relies on information technologies to allow as many people as possible – anyone with access to the technology – to provide a distance service by telephone or Internet. This gives rural communities, even in remote areas, the opportunity to contribute to economic development.
An entrepreneurial approach is essential to launch innovative services, while cross-cutting collaboration between stakeholders and sectors is decisive for setting up local ecosystems, which are vital to the success of large-scale deployment.
Successful projects are built on the basis of their clients’ ability and willingness to pay. They are then tested locally in the field through a trial and error process. These projects do, however, come up against several difficulties. They need to rely on human resources combining technical and sectoral know-how with knowledge of habits and demand at the most local level. They must also find investments and long-term partners to support the long –and necessary – initial trial and error phase.
Cross-cutting cooperation between sectors and stakeholders (governments, development agencies, social entrepreneurs, corporates, financial institutions, civil society organizations and research institutes) is essential for creating the ecosystem that will make it possible to overcome these difficulties. The level of commitment of each type of stakeholder will be decisive in ensuring that services based on ICT improve the living conditions and incomes of billions of people living below the poverty line. The study puts forward recommendations to the different stakeholders in this respect and encourages them to work together and get involved in order to ensure that ICT’s contribution to the sustainable socioeconomic development of poor communities becomes a reality.
The full report was presented simultaneously in Paris and The Hague on 14 September.