2016, a record year for AFD


With a record year in 2016 marked by EUR 9.4bn of commitments, AFD is taking action in new fields, particularly in continental Africa

Rémy Rioux, Chief Executive Officer of AFD, presented today AFD’s results for 2016, from the perspective of its strategy for 2020.

At the request of the French President in 2015, AFD has significantly increased the volume of its financing, in line with the international community’s objectives (SDGs, Paris Climate Agreement), formed its strategic alliance with Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, and extended its scope of operations. 



Rémy Rioux, its Chief Executive Officer, explains AFD’s strategy: “2016, the year of its 75th anniversary, was marked by the increase in AFD’s commitments, its strategic alliance with Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, and the strengthening of its partnerships with civil society, territorial authorities, the private sector, bilateral and multilateral development banks, European institutions and the major foundations. With EUR 9.4bn of commitments, AFD has set out on an ambitious growth path to support the major transitions in developing countries and the French overseas territories. With its new strategy, AFD will be playing a leading role in supporting the emergence of a common world.”

In 2015, the French President set for AFD the objective of increasing its activity by +60% by 2020 to some EUR 13bn of annual commitments. It set out on this growth path in 2016.

EUR 9.4bn of projects were financed by AFD: i.e. +13% in 1 year.

Africa, all Africa, is AFD’s priority, with some EUR 4bn of commitments in 2016, a +25% increase.

  • Between 2010 and 2016, EUR 22bn were committed in Africa.
  • In January 2017, at the Bamako Summit, the French President made an even more ambitious commitment for AFD: EUR 23bn will be committed for Africa over the next five years.
  • AFD has supported renewable energy development by committing EUR 600m in Africa in 2016. It plans to devote EUR 3bn to the sector by 2020.

AFD is operating in new countries and new sectors: 

  • Argentina, Cuba, the Balkans: AFD will be extending its geographical area of operations towherever the support of a committed and solidarity-focused development bank is useful.
  •  AFD’s new strategy opens up areas of action for the future, in sectors in which AFD did not previously operate or had limited activity: governance, cultural industries, higher education, innovation and digital technology, social business, the external action of local authorities, education in development and international solidarity.

AFD and CDC: A strategic alliance active in the field

The strategic alliance between the two institutions, signed on 6 December 2016, is being operationalized in the field. At international level, it is leading to common tools, such as the EUR 600m infrastructure investment fund, whose creation was recently announced by the two Chief Executive Officers in Burkina Faso. In France, it is bringing about a closer partnership with regional and local authorities and all development actors in territories.


AFD’s action in 2016

Action on the five continents:

  • 50% of AFD’s financial commitments in foreign countries (some EUR 4bn in 2016, i.e. +25% in one year) are devoted to Africa, all Africa, a priority for AFD’s action, where 84% of the budget resources allocated by the State are focused. In its new strategy, AFD considers Africa as a whole: from Morocco to South Africa, from Senegal to Djibouti, with its regional dynamics, without separating the North of the Sahara from the South.
  • 20% in Asia and the Pacific to finance low-carbon projects (EUR 1.3bn in 2016).
  • 20% in Latin America and the Caribbean, with a focus on sustainable urban development (EUR 1.1bn in 2016).
  • 10% in the Middle East to finance inclusive and resilient growth (EUR 741m in 2016).
  • In 2016, AFD also earmarked EUR 1.6bn of financing for the French overseas authorities.

The markers of AFD’s action: 6 x 50%
AFD, France’s development bank, which is solidarity-focused and committed to working for populations in the South and the French overseas territories, bases its action on 6 strong markers:

  • 50% of its commitments abroad are in Africa
  • 50% of its activity concerns French-speaking countries and territories
  • 50% of its projects have positive impacts on the climate
  • 50% of its projects contribute to reducing gender inequalities
  • 50% of its beneficiaries are non-State actors (State-owned or private companies in Southern countries, local authorities, public institutions, NGOs, banks) 
  • 50% of its projects are cofinanced with other donors

AFD finances sustainable growth paths that contribute to the five major transitions which both developing and developed countries are undergoing: demographic and social transitions, territorial and ecological transition, energy transition, digital and technological transition, political and citizen-based transition.

Solutions which bring about positive impacts for populations

In 2016, AFD financed 657 development projects, which have, for example:

  • improved urban transport in New Caledonia;
  • managed tensions between host and refugee populations in Lebanon and Jordan;
  • built Burkina Faso’s energy autonomy;

Projects with measurable concrete impacts every year. Over the past 5 years, on average: 

  • 730,000 family farms supported;
  • 665 MW of renewable energies installed;
  • improved access to water and sanitation for 1.2 million people;
  • 54,000 SMEs supported;
  • 832,000 children sent to school.

 ► Find out more about the results for 2016

Rémy Rioux appointed Chief Executive Officer of Agence Française de Développement by the Council of Ministers today, 25 May 2016


Today, on a proposal made by François Hollande at the Parliament on 27 April 2016 and following a unanimous favorable vote of MPs and a majority of Senators, Mr. Rémy Rioux, 46, Deputy Secretary General of the French Ministry of Foreign affairs and International Development, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Agence Française de Développement, a Public Industrial and Commercial Establishment responsible for development in Southern countries and the French overseas territories. Rémy Rioux, AFD’s 11th Chief Executive Officer, will take over as head of AFD on 2 June 2016.

Rémy Rioux was born in June 1969 in Neuilly-sur-Seine and is an alumnus of the Ecole Normale Supérieure, rue d’Ulm, Sciences Po, and the Ecole Nationale d’Administration. He is a historian by training, a former student of Alain Corbin and Pierre Nora, and Senior Advisor at the Court of Auditors. During his career, he has alternately held responsibilities in France and for development in Africa.

Rémy Rioux appointed Chief Executive Officer of AFD © Alain Buu

At the age of 26, Rémy Rioux discovered Africa during an ENA internship in Benin, and subsequently by campaigning to promote the harmonization of business law in Africa. He has a love of this continent and has travelled across it throughout his career, established close ties there, and acquired a recognized expertise in development issues. He worked at the Directorate of the Treasury from 2004 to 2007, and subsequently from 2010 to 2012, where he contributed to modernizing monetary cooperation with African Franc Zone member countries, participated in the resolution of the Ivorian crisis, and contributed to making the issue of infrastructure and development central to the international agenda of the G20. At the time, he was a Member of the Boards of Directors of AFD and its subsidiary PROPARCO.

Rémy Rioux also conducted control missions in the energy and defense sectors at the Court of Auditors between 1997 and 2004. He worked at the Ministry of the Interior from 2000 to 2002, at the Office of the Minister Daniel Vaillant, where he was responsible for the budget and changeover to the euro. He also held a position at the State Holdings Agency (APE), from 2007 to 2010, as Chief Investment Officer responsible for the transport and media sectors, and sat on the Boards of Directors of various companies (SNCF, RATP, ADP, Renault, France Télévisions, France Médias Monde, Arte, le Grand Port Maritime du Havre).

In 2012, he was Director of the Office of the Minister of the Economy, Finance and Foreign Trade, Pierre Moscovici. He was actively involved in redefining economic relations between Africa and France and in the work conducted by Jacques Attali on economic Francophonie. Two years later, Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, appointed him Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry, in charge of economic issues. Alongside the Minister, he managed the financial component of the negotiations for COP21.

Following the announcement made by the French President in September 2015 of a revival of France’s Official Development Assistance policy and an increase in development and climate finance (by EUR 4bn by 2020, to reach EUR 12.5bn of annual commitments, including EUR 5bn for the climate), he was entrusted with a preparatory mission for the establishment of closer ties between Agence Française de Développement and Caisse des Dépôts, which aims to provide France with a tool capable of meeting the challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals.

He is a man of dialogue and conviction and is deeply attached to the Massif Central region, particularly Corrèze and Lozère, where he regularly stays with his wife and three children.

Key Dates

  • 26 June 1969: Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
  • 1997: Auditor at the Court of Auditors on leaving ENA (Marc Bloch Class), where he became Senior Advisor in 2013
  • 2001 and 2002: Budget Advisor at the Office of Daniel Vaillant at the Ministry of the Interior
  • 2003: Control missions in the energy and defense sectors at the Court of Auditors
  • 2004: General Directorate of the Treasury, Head of the Office for Monetary and Development Cooperation with African, Caribbean, Pacific and Franc Zone countries
  • 2007: Deputy Director for the transport and audiovisual sectors at the State Holdings Agency (APE)
  • 2010: Deputy Director for international financial affairs and development at the General Directorate of the Treasury
  • 2012 to 2014: Director of the Office of Mr. Pierre Moscovici at the Ministry of the Economy and Finance
  • 2014: Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development in charge of economic affairs
  • 2015: Responsible for financial matters in the French negotiation team for COP21.
  • June 2016: Appointed the 11th Chief Executive Officer of Agence Française de Développement.

Agence Française de Développement’s 2014 Results: Over EUR 8 billion for a more equitable and more sustainable world


Anne Paugam, Chief Executive Officer of AFD, today presented the key figures for the activity in 2014 of the central actor in France’s Official Development Assistance. With EUR 8.1 billion of commitments, up 4%, AFD has achieved another historic year for its activities to support a more equitable and more sustainable world.

AFD’s mandate is central to the challenge of the coming years, which is to bring about new development models that ensure both the prosperity of the whole of the world’s population and preserve the planet. We contribute to this by tailoring our actions to the needs of partner countries”, explained Anne Paugam, Chief Executive Officer of AFD.

AFD is a public institution that implements France’s policy for development financing. It operates on four continents, in over 90 countries and in the French overseas territories, and works on a daily basis to meet its partners’ requirements. This results in investments in human capital, support for the private sector, financing for public transport projects, and assistance for the public policies of both governments and territorial authorities, in order to promote more equitable and more sustainable development trajectories.

AFD addresses the challenges of climate change, the impacts of which concern the entire planet, by showing on a daily basis that there are concrete solutions that reconcile climate and development. In 2014, 53% of AFD’s financing for development in developing countries generated positive impacts for the fight against climate change and 30% for PROPARCO, its private sector financing arm.

Concrete impacts

AFD’s actions bring about concrete impacts. Between 2012 and 2014, ongoing projects have:

  • Got 2 million children into primary and secondary school;
  • Improved housing for 2.3 million people;
  • Provided 2.7 million people with access to a sustainable source of drinking water;
  • Assisted the development of 246,000 small businesses;
  • Supported 771,000 family farms;
  • Preserved and sustainably managed 32 million hectares of natural spaces allowing biodiversity conservation.



Historic year for the climate: 53% of financing

In 2014, 53% of AFD’s financing for development in developing countries and almost 30% of its subsidiary PROPARCO’s financing for the private sector also had positive impacts on the fight against climate change as part of one of the most ambitious climate strategies among international development finance institutions, which was established at the request of the French Government. In 2014, it accounted for over EUR 2.8bn of financial commitments, including EUR 2.53bn for AFD. Since 2005, EUR 18bn have been earmarked by AFD for projects that reconcile development and climate.






AFD’s first climate bonds

For the first time, AFD has issued climate bonds with a 10-year maturity. They will finance projects that contribute to development, but also to the fight against climate change.
This EUR 1bn “climate” bond issue is the first of its kind conducted by a French public agency. It marks a new trend in the design of financial instruments to support the transition towards a low-carbon economy. Through its rigorous and innovative methodology, based on a systematic assessment of the carbon footprint of funded projects, AFD is seeking to demonstrate to financiers that it is possible to channel part of international finance towards “climate” assets.



Sub-Saharan Africa: Record commitments

In 2014, financing in Sub-Saharan Africa reached the record volume of EUR 2.95bn, i.e. 36.5% of AFD Group’s total financing (45% of financing in foreign countries). Through this strong commitment, which is in line with the objective set by the French President to provide EUR 20bn of financing to the continent by 2018, AFD aims to support the emergence of Africa in its growth trajectories. The projects supported by AFD provide access to essential services, develop sustainable cities, family farming, preserve natural resources, and build infrastructure and job-creating enterprises.







Crises: Specific intervention methods and tools

In Mali, the Central African Republic, Guinea… in countries in armed conflict or recently emerged from conflict, AFD has tailored its operating methods and tools to the specificity of these contexts. The aim is to be more responsive and work more effectively with the different partners and actors of emergency relief and development. Key projects in 2014 include:
Ebola: a new treatment center was set up in the Guinea Forest Region thanks to a EUR 5m grant via a Debt Reduction-Development Contract
Bêkou Fund: this fund, with EUR 64m at the end of 2014, was created on the initiative of AFD. It allows European donors to pool their financing in order to support the crisis management and subsequent post-crisis process in CAR. It aims to recreate essential services, contribute to economic development and promote stability in the country and sub-region.



►Summary of 2014 activity results

Call for papers For a special issue of the scientific quarterly, Afrique Contemporaine


A great Eastern Africa in the making?
Scientific coordination by Marie-Aude Fouéré (EHESS) and Hervé Maupeux (LAM-UPPA)

If we step away from the old British Colonial definition of East Africa and look at the economic and political forces shaping and redrawing the region today, we see a multifaceted region – one long perceived as a patchwork of extremely different economic and political systems. The divergent development paths taken by Tanzania and Kenya in the 1960s and 1970s – one socialist and self-reliant, the other capitalist and open to foreign investment – illustrate each country’s autonomous political and economic choices, solidly grounded in the process of building national sovereignty rather than regional cohesion. Three phenomena have precluded any enduring form of economic or political regionalism: authoritarian regimes installed in many countries from the Red Sea to southern Africa and to the Great Lakes Region; the civil and interstate wars that have torn apart several countries (and continue to do so, in some cases); and the slow disintegration of some states. The failure of the first East African Community proved how difficult it is to achieve regional cooperation and especially regional integration in the face of sovereign tensions, economic differences, and armed destabilization efforts. Despite a long history of interconnectedness through movement and trade between the social and cultural centers of greater East Africa (the Great Lakes Region, Swahili Coast, the Horn of Africa, and ethnicized hinterlands), identity politics, economic hierarchies, and curbs on the circulation of goods, peoples, and ideas have intensified during the colonial and postcolonial period.

In recent years, however, the situation has changed. We see new approaches and experiences that reveal growing interconnections between state and non-state actors in the greater East Africa taking shape today. The wave of structural adjustments unleashed in the middle of the 1980s effectively ended the separation between socialist and capitalist economies. It also brought about instances of regional cooperation in many sectors, without loss of national sovereignty. These experiences resulted from harmonizing policies, aimed at both fiscal and judicial regimes and commercial and insurance regulations. Renewed efforts to build integrated blocs have facilitated trade in goods and capital; such integration rests on common economic policies, reduced tariffs, and the promotion of inter-regional commerce. Examples include the East African Community, the South African Development Community, and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. Private actors, such as multinationals, smaller companies, and tradesmen working in various fields (such as telecommunications, banking, automobile re-exporting, mechanical engineering, and consumer goods) serve as agents in this expansion through interconnection. Despite new forms of authoritarianism, the stabilization of post-conflict countries, such as Burundi, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Uganda, has eased the circulation of goods and peoples in the vast East African hinterlands. It also makes possible the expansion of large infrastructure projects between countries in the region, including Ethiopia and South Sudan, along with the construction of region-wide railways, telecommunications networks, roadways, pipelines, and power lines.

However, several challenges undermine the optimism driving these grand interconnection projects. The infrastructure aims to improve economies of scale in the region and augment its attractiveness for foreign investment – both from historically favored countries and regions (the United States, Great Britain and Europe) and from emerging countries, primarily China and India, but also Indonesia and Turkey. These ambitions face obstacles in three major regions. First, in the Great Lakes Region, lawlessness, particularly around North Kivu Province in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, threatens the stability of Burundi and Uganda while authoritarianism in Rwanda, a country ruled by an iron fist, makes internal or external compromise nearly impossible. Second, South Sudan possesses oil resources coveted by other countries in the region, principally Ethiopia, Sudan, and Kenya – the latter two still torn by internal wars. Third, Somalia — a state without a government — harbors thousands of refugees and destabilizes the entire region with terrorist activities; this especially affects Kenya, the economic engine of East Africa.

This special issue aims to highlight the economic, political and social forces that make this new interconnectedness possible, now and in the future – forces that it has and will, in turn, transform, leading to major political and economic realignments in the entire region. This issue also aims to document and analyze those realignments. We welcome the following topics as potential submissions. (Please note that this list is by no means exclusive, and other topics will be considered.)

(1) Infrastructure and development. The new interconnections developing in East Africa allow the circulation of ideas, practices, goods, capital, men and women. However, current debates and projects mostly focus on infrastructure: railways, telecommunications, roads, pipelines, power grids, and so forth. This border-crossing infrastructure often takes the form of “corridors” – a recurrent term in East African project documents, and one often used by analysts and scholars. Under this heading, the proposed volume will examine the new rhetoric promoting interconnectedness through these multifunctional corridors. They are conceived as a panacea for opening the hinterland to the Indian Ocean, facilitating cross-border trade, and creating new development links in what have been peripheral areas — for example, the Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project in northern Kenya. What means do proponents employ – economic calculations, models, etc. – to legitimize such interconnection projects? How does the corridor or an infrastructure connection co-exist with new state-sponsored development projects, particularly poverty alleviation efforts? How does each governmental stakeholder instrumentalize the corridor internally? Is it possible to build nationhood through a regionalized transnational project? We note that corridors have a history in the region, and would welcome a retrospective analysis of such projects. As for natural resources, we hope to examine possible links between planned infrastructure projects and looting by certain actors; we would also question when and how such infrastructure might truly benefit local populations, as national development plans claim. We would also question the relationship that may be built between regional interconnections through corridors and regional construction. In official rhetoric, the corridor symbolizes material efforts to forge relationships between countries. However, this rhetoric seldom addresses the political integration needed if the corridor is to sustain its intended financial and economic relationships. Nor does such rhetoric address asymmetries in corridor control and profit accumulation.

(2) Funding and international cooperation. The financing of infrastructure is key to the physical and geographical interconnections between countries in greater East Africa; it is, therefore, a crucial condition for the expansion of human, capital, goods and resource flows. This observation calls for an examination of present and future funding modalities and mechanisms, given that new public- and private-sector donors (particularly those from emerging countries, principally China and India, and some Gulf countries for certain sectors) will contribute to changing international relations in general and the development finance landscape in particular. Observers expect that the primacy of bilateral aid will return, after decades in the shadow of foreign aid from international and regional organizations and public-private partnerships. As traditional donors reposition themselves, particularly the World Bank and OECD countries, what consequences will follow? How will East African countries change the way they negotiate at the national level, or at the level of the economic and political blocs now being formed, when addressing donor countries having only weak conditionalities? How will countries with varied human and natural resources or expertise succeed – or not – in cooperating with development partners, given that those whose reserves have recently proven greater than expected (Kenya and Uganda for oil, or Mozambique and Tanzania for natural gas) will attract more attention than their less-well-endowed neighbors? Will natural resource exploitation influence regional cooperation organizations? To what extent will the West participate in the region’s latest social and economic development phase?

(3) Political realignments. Economic globalization drives interconnections in East Africa, whose countries must cope with its effects even as their political and economic choices encourage it. Most of these countries have converted to multiparty democracy (albeit with uneven levels of democratization) and several have ratified new constitutions; all of them must juggle their nascent concepts of nationhood with their regional bilateral and multilateral networks. The equation between nation and region, or between local, regional and international, often proves unequal. We would ask how various political actors appropriate interconnection projects (or fail to do so), and how the private sector, civil society, and international partners position themselves in the landscape. The relationship that emerges between political, economic and financial actors in the face of this new interconnectedness calls for an analysis to understand how project outcomes depend on that relationship, particularly given the obvious overlap between actors. We would emphasize the role of political entrepreneurs and political élites in these countries (heads of state and powerful officials) by using a sociology of actors and a sociology of inter-state relations. The issue of national elections crucially informs the fate of such projects, as Kenya’s latest elections demonstrated. The political realignments that the new connections simultaneously serve and perform only become visible at the national scale; these realignments affect relationships between countries and can lead to conflicts — over ‘vertical exploitation’ practices, over constraints that interdependences impose, or over questions of market monopolies and economic rents.

(4) Security. According to surveys, most citizens in East African countries name security as their primary concern. Security or its absence reflect many actors and actions: the state’s public policies and its authoritarian, policing and/or criminal practices; the presence of neighborhood or election-period militias; the activities of international terrorism, primarily from Somalia. Current infrastructure projects for interconnectedness depend heavily on securing areas of building and operation, as in the LAPSSET corridor. How do security concerns affect project design and funding choices? How do countries try to protect themselves from various kind of insecurity? Some threats may be local, national or regional, but all overlap; increasingly, they cross borders, as when Somali terrorists insinuate themselves among a target country’s young adults. What specific systems — resource redistribution, national or regional security measures for example — will foster peace between countries, thereby allowing interconnections and even regional integration to flourish? And how can these systems work, given that some governments covertly profit from terrorism, increasing criminal activities such as drugs and arms trafficking or organized crime? And finally, how does security affect human mobility, so vital to the flows of goods and capital? Some migrate voluntarily for short-term or permanent work while others have suffered forced displacements; how does mobility function when some countries in the region must handle thousands of internal and international refugees?


This special issues has the following timeline (subject to change):

Interested authors will submit a one-page précis, describing the topic, argument outline (in brief), and the relevant data or fieldwork; submissions are due by 20 November 2014
The editors will select article topics and authors by 30 November 2014
Selected authors must submit a first draft of their articles by 30 March 2015
The special issue will be published in the third quarter of 2015.

In their published versions, the articles will be 50,000 characters in length, including spaces, footnotes and bibliography. Each article will be blind peer-reviewed by two experts in the material.

Please submit your response to this call for papers via our online Editorial Manager:
For questions or clarifications, contact Marie-Aude Fouéré and Isabelle Fortuit

Indicative bibliography

1/ Infrastructure and development:
Boone, C. (2014) Property & Political Order in Africa. Land Rights and the Structure of Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Borras, S.M. and Franco, J.C. (2012) Global land grabbing and trajectories of agrarian change: a preliminary analysis. Journal of Agrarian Change, 12, 34-59.
Porhel, R. and Leon, A. (2013) L’influence des corridors dans le développement régional: le cas de l’EAC. Observatoire des Grands Lacs en Afrique. Note n°2-2013.

2/ Funding and international cooperation.
Auge, B. and Nakayi, R. (2013) Eastern Africa: A New oil and Gas Frontier. Observatoire des Grands Lacs en Afrique. Note n°1-2013.
Patey, Luke Anthony (2014) The New Kings of Crude: China, India, and the Global Struggle for Oil in Sudan and South Sudan. London: Hurst & Company.

3/ Political realignments:
Arriola, L. R. (2013) Multiethnic Coalitions in Africa. Business Financing of Opposition Election Campaigns. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hansen, S. J. (2013) Al-Shabaab in Somalia. The History and Ideology of a Militant Islamist Group, 2005-2012. London: Hurst & Company.
Tripp, A. M. (2010) Museveni’s Uganda. Paradoxes of Power in a Hybrid Regime. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.

4/ Security:
Baker, B. (2008). Multi-Choice Policing in Africa. Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet.
Kaarsholm, P. (Ed.) (2006). Violence, Political Culture and Development in Africa. Oxford: James Currey.

AFD and CIRAD launch Climate Challenge, an international competition on agricultural and forestry innovation to address climate change


Call for projects launched at Convergences World Forum on 8, 9 and 10 September 2014

Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (Cirad) have launched the first international competition « Climate Challenge Agriculture and Forestry », which promotes agricultural and forestry innovation to address climate change.

Anne Paugam, Chief Executive Officer of AFD, and Michel Eddi, Chairman of CIRAD presented this competition on 9 September 2014 during the 7th edition of the Convergences World Forum, which gathers public, private and solidarity-based actors who are working to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

Agence Française de Développement and Cirad have launched the competition “Climate Challenge Agriculture and Forestry” because climate change poses a major challenge to agriculture and a threat to both world food security and poverty eradication. AFD is particularly active in supporting developing countries in the fight against climate change. For Cirad, the topic of climate change has been central to the research it has been conducting for over 15 years with its partners in the South, with the aim of adapting agriculture in these countries to this major constraint.

This international competition aims to promote innovation and fast track the transfer and dissemination of technologies and knowledge, which are essential in bringing about innovative solutions to be devised for the future. It will support the creativity and success of exemplary projects, led by candidates from Africa, the Mediterranean, Asia, Latin America and the French Overseas : individual actors, farmers’ organizations, financial institutions, actors from the economic and social sectors, local authorities and territories.

It highlights four categories of project :

  • Climate change mitigation in agriculture and livestock farming
  • Climate change mitigation in the forestry sector
  • Substitution and processing of agricultural and forestry products
  • Adaptation to climate change and water resources management


Projects must be submitted by 1 December 2014 on the website dedicated to the competition,, via the online application interface.


Innovation: A new approach to mobilizing actors

Technical, methodological and operational innovations that create new local dynamics, as well as actions to build inclusive economies, will be promoted. They allow actors and family farms to adapt their practices to climate change, while ensuring that their standard of living and quality of life improve.


150 preselected applications, 12 major projects selected, 4 award winners

150 of the projects submitted will be selected on the basis of the impact their innovation has on climate change, their feasibility, viability, and the possibility of replicating them, as well as their utility and overall coherence. A Selection Committee composed of experts from the development sector will select 12 major innovations, which will be transferred to the final jury.

« This competition provides an opportunity to mobilize and pool energies from the North and South for innovative methods that need to be implemented to support sustainable development. Agriculture and forestry are two key sectors. They are vectors of innovation to address climate change and provide solutions to the major challenge of world food security. It is for this reason that I am extremely pleased to launch Climate Challenge in partnership with Cirad » says Anne Paugam, Chief Executive Officer of Agence Française de Développement (AFD)..

« This competition provides the opportunity to promote innovations that have come about as a result of research on what we call ‘climate-smart agriculture’. These new agricultural practices should provide a response to the threefold challenge of food security, climate change adaptation, and the sustainable increase in production, by promoting the development of employment in rural areas. They are particularly vital for the future of family farming, but also for conceiving and building the world of tomorrow, based on the principles of sustainable development”, », points out Michel Eddi, Chairman of CIRAD..


Awards given by prestigious jury at 2015 International Agricultural Show

The 12 initiators of innovative projects will be invited to France to present their projects at the award ceremony, which will be held in Paris at the International Agricultural Show (21 February to 1 March 2015).


The final jury comprises personalities from the field of innovation and social and economic investment and include:

  • Brice Lalonde :Special Advisor on Sustainable Development to the UN Global Compact, former Under-Secretary General of the UN, former Secretary of State then Minister for the Environment from 1988 to 1992.
  • Navi Radjou : consultant in innovation in Silicon Valley, father of the concept of Jugaad and frugal innovation.
  • Ibrahima Coulibaly : Special Ambassador to the UN for the International Year of Family Farming, Vice-President ROPPA (Network of Farmers' and Agricultural Producers' Organizations of West Africa), President of CNOP (National Coordination of Farmers' Organizations in Mali).
  • Jean-Christophe Debar : Director of the FARM foundation (Foundation for World Agriculture and Rurality).


For Brice Lalonde, President of the Jury: « Humanity is facing one of its greatest challenges: how to ensure development for all without harming the planet. Agriculture has a full role to play in this challenge and the solutions may well come from countries in the South, which have a proven creative force. So, I am proud to be contributing to bringing out solutions, via this challenge, that will allow us to feed the world, while protecting nature, the mother of future harvests. »

Find out more at :
Climate Challenge Agriculture and Forestry:
Le Cirad :
French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development (MAEDI):

€7.8 Billion in Commitments Makes 2013 a Record Year for AFD: Funding Up 8%


Anne Paugam, chief executive of AFD (Agence Française de Développement), today announced an increase in the French development agency’s 2013 financing commitments to the record level of €7.8 billion. The Agency’s 2013 annual report presentation outlined a transitional year, highlighted by a national Solidarity Summit and new foreign-aid guidelines set out by France’s Interministerial Council for Cooperation and Development (or CICID).


Sub-Saharan Africa the Priority in a Year of Growth

In 2013, AFD financing commitments, primarily loans, reached €7.8 billion, an 8% increase over 2012. Sub-Saharan Africa remains AFD’s priority region, receiving a record €2.8 million in aid; this represented 46% of all foreign aid and 37% of all AFD financing commitments. Rural and urban development, natural resource preservation and professional training projects count among the Agency’s primary efforts in the region.


An Increase in Commitments to Fight Climate Disruption

AFD is deeply committed to fighting climate disruption: 50% of its financing has a “co-benefit” for the climate. In 2013, this meant investing €2.4 billion in 77 projects that advanced development while fighting climate change and disruptions.

AFD Financing Benefits People and the Planet

Every year, the Agency’s work delivers increasingly greater impacts. AFD projects underway in 2013 had the following effects:

  • 1.5 million people gained access to a reliable source of drinking water
  • 411,000 people enjoyed improved sanitation services
  • 1 million slum dwellers resided in better and safer housing
  • 450,000 children received primary and elementary schooling
  • 32,000 youths attended vocational- or professional-training courses
  • 878,000 family farms received support
  • 73,000 small businesses received funding
  • 35 million passengers annually used new or modernized mass transit systems
  • 30 million hectares were protected by biodiversity-conservation and sustainable resource-management programs.  New projects financed in 2013 will help fight climate disruption by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, abating 3.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.

A Vast Network of Partners to Meet the Needs of the Developing World

AFD finds it increasingly important to work with other development partners: French local governments and companies, the European Union, and other donors. All these partners help conceive and execute aid projects that are better tailored to in-country needs. In 2013, AFD provided grants worth €48.7 million to finance 73 projects conducted by 56 civil society organizations, and joined other donors to cofinance 37 projects totaling €1.7 billion.

Anne Paugam, chief executive of AFD, stated: “In 2013, AFD committed €7.8 billion to serve development and a fairer and better-regulated globalization. Even as globalization has lifted millions out of extreme poverty, it has also aggravated all kinds of tensions and imbalances. In my view, AFD serves as France’s premiere instrument to address these issues: in Africa’s poorest countries, we fight poverty; in emerging countries, we are more focused on fighting climate change. However, the heart of our mission remains the same: to foster economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable development in the mutual interest of the developed and the developing world.”                               

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