Trucks carrying windmill blades

The French Agency for Development (AFD) has been authorized to operate in Ethiopia from september 1993. From 2007, its operations have been growing along targeted areas, collaborating to the Ethiopian strategy for development.

Photo: Vergnet SA

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A growing presence
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The AFD is currently financing projects in the fields of water and sanitation, energy, the productive sector, and urban and transport infrastructure.

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Decisive projects


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

Reinforced research partnership between AFD and Ethiopia


Last November, AFD and Ethiopia have re-affirmed their will to cooperate on public policy research. This willingness was expressed by the signing a new 200,000 € partnership agreement.


A partnership created in 2015


In December 2015, AFD and the Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI) signed a strategic and financial partnership agreement aiming at implementing a research and support program in the elaboration of the industrial and structural transformation politics of the country.  


A fostered cooperation and new activities 


The second phase of this program was launched on November 24th, 2016, including new activities reinforcing the partnership:

  • Collaboration between researchers of EDRI, researchers from French universities and research centers (Toulouse School of Economics and the French statistical agency, INSEE), which is one of the priority activities.
  • New research subjects which are key issues for the Addis Ababa agency, such as leather quality, upmarket move of the leather industry and impacts of the industrial parks on employment.
  • Discussions around common subjects of public policy, which will be organized in the scope of the 20th anniversary of AFD’s Addis Ababa agency in Ethiopia in 2017. 

This partnership has been signed by the new executive director of EDRI, Mr. Mekonnen Manyazewal, with rank of minister, and Mr. Ignace Monkam-Daverat, AFD regional director in Addis Ababa.  


Non-financial tools to support development 


This collaboration allows AFD to reaffirm its capacity to use its financial and non-financial tools for development, whilst reinforcing France’s position in the public policy dialogue with Ethiopia. 

The Agence Française de Développement and Bpifrance have together launched a digital innovation competition open to African and French start-ups working for development in Africa


For the first time, the Agence Française de Développement, which for almost 75 years has been funding development projects in Africa, and Bpifrance, have joined forces to launch the "Digital Africa Start-up Challenge", an innovation competition to promote the development of digital start-ups in Africa. African and French start-ups have until 15 November 2016 to submit their applications in the fintech, health, environment-energy and agricultural sectors.

Applications may be submitted until 15 November 2016 via the Platform :  


What motivated this challenge?

Africa is more and more connected, particularly due to the rapid adoption of mobile telephony, and has become a continent of digital innovation. The development of mobile payments and the increasing adoption of smart phones and broadband Internet are among the many factors that now enable digital entrepreneurs to propose new products and services in all economic sectors. The dynamism of digital ecosystems has led to an increase in the number of technological hubs, co-working units, laboratories and incubators, of which there are now more than 300 on the continent.

Given this context, the AFD and Bpifrance wanted to pool their experience in the financing of digital innovation and development. The "Startup Challenge Digital Africa" should encourage and support new players in the digital economy, accelerate the sharing of know-how and facilitate the emergence of new solutions for development.

Four sectors have been chosen for their dynamism and potential impact for development of the continent:

  • fintech
  • health
  • environment/energy
  • agriculture

What are the rewards for the winners?

A jury will choose two start-up winners, one African and one French, in each of the four sectors (i.e. eight start-ups).
Another two start-ups, one African and one French will be selected by online voters.
In all, 10 start-ups will thus be rewarded.
They will be invited to come and present their project and meet partners during the 27th Africa-France Summit, to be held at Bamako on 13 and 14 January 2017.

How to apply?

African and French entrepreneurs should submit the key elements of their entrepreneurial project online at before 15 November 2016, and must indicate in which of the four categories they wish to compete, namely fintech, health, environment/energy or agriculture.

A qualified jury and two renowned sponsors

The jury will be made up of qualified African and French personalities and representatives of the AFD and Bpifrance. The Digital Africa Start-up Challenge is sponsored by two influential entrepreneurs in the world of technology and innovation: 14 January 2017.

Karim Sy 
An entrepreneur based in Dakar
Founder of the Jokkolabs network (the 1st African collaborative working space)

Gilles Babinet 
A French entrepreneur, Founder of Africa4Tech
First chairman of the French Digital Council France’s “Digital Champion” and one of the European Commission’s Digital Ambassadors

The AFD and Bpifrance

Rémy Rioux, Director General of the AFD claims: "Digital technology may be an incredible accelerator of sustainable development in Africa, on condition that each entrepreneur is able to benefit from the innovation springboard. The Agence Française de Développement wants to accompany this wave of transition, which offers new trajectories for growth, by supporting southern entrepreneurs whose projects are promising for the continent and by promoting interactions between northern and southern entrepreneurs. This is why the AFD and Bpifrance decided to work together to launch this competition."

Nicolas Dufourcq, Director General of Bpifrance, declares: "The technological leaps occurring in Africa and the emergence of a young middle-class have created exceptional development opportunities for African and French companies. We are proud to participate in this competition, which is in line with our actions for promoting the internationalisation of companies and cooperation with the African continent."

About Bpifrance

Bpifrance , a subsidiary of the Caisse des Dépôts and the French state, a trusted partner of French entrepreneurs, supports companies from start-up to flotation on the stock exchange by granting loans, acting as guarantor and by investing. Bpifrance also provides support services that reinforce innovation, external growth and exports, in partnership with Business France and Coface.

Bpifrance offers companies a complete range of financing for every key stage of their development, and offers that are adapted to regional specificities. With 47 regional branches (90% of decisions are taken in the regions), Bpifrance is an economic competitiveness tool at the service of entrepreneurs.

Bpifrance acts to implement French government policy and Regional policies in order to achieve three objectives:

  • reinforce the growth of companies ; 
  • prepare their competitiveness for the future ;
  • contribute to the development of an ecosystem that favours entrepreneurship.

In Bpifrance, companies have a powerful and effective partner, who follows their development closely in order to meet all of their needs for financing, innovation and investment.

Follow us on Twitter: @bpifrance

AFD, the Italian Cooperation and the European Investment Bank agree to coordinate their efforts to foster access to drinking water in secondary cities


AFD, together with the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed on October 4th 2016 a Memorandum of Understanding in order to harmonize their financing procedures for the “support to WASH in urban areas“ programme.

Improving secondary cities' water supply

Through the Water and Sanitation Programme in Small and Mediums towns in Ethiopia, approximately 40 towns Ethiopia-wide are benefitting from a significant investment in water, wastewater and sanitation infrastructures.

Such initiative is implemented by the Water Resources Development Fund (WRDF) of the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity (MoWIE).

AFD, AICS and the EIB are supporting this programme with a total amount of EUR 81.4 million, spread between soft loans of EUR 40 million from the EIB, EUR 20 million from AFD and EUR 15 million from AICS for the financing of infrastructures, as well as grants of EUR 1.9 million from the EIB, EUR 1 million from AFD and EUR 3.5 million from AICS dedicated to the capacity-building of WRDF, Regional Water Bureaus and Towns Water Utilities.

A better cooperation between the different European donors

This MoU was signed between Mr. Christophe Litt, EIB representative, Mr. Ignace Monkam-Daverat, new AFD regional director and Ms. Laura Frigenti, director of the AICS, who was doing her first visit in Ethiopia. The MoU was signed in the presence of His Excellency Mr. Frédéric Bontems, Ambassador of France in Ethiopia and to the African Union.

With this document, the three Development Partners agree to follow common rules and procedures in order to harmonize all the Programme’s activities for a more effective and efficient programmatic implementing approach, trailblazer of future potential collaborations in other sectors.

New managing team for the AFD Addis Ababa regional agency


The AFD regional agency has the pleasure to welcome its new team: M Ignace Monkam-Daverat replaces M Christian Yoka as the agency director, whilst Shayan Kassim replaces Anne Chapalain as project manager.


New Team - Ignace Monkam - Daverat With an agricultural engineering and finance background, Ignace MONKAM-DAVERAT has been working for almost twenty year with the French Development Agency (AFD), where he occupied various positions as project officer, project manager and agency director, at AFD headquarters as well as in African agencies in Senegal, Cape Verde, Tanzania, Uganda and Djibouti where he was until now the regional director in charge of Djibouti, Yemen and Somaliland.



New Team - Shayan Kassim

 Also coming from an engineering background, Shayan KASSIM previously worked for 5 years in a French banking group (Société Générale CIB), mainly in credit analysis, before joining the AFD internal auditing team in 2012. He now joins the ADF regional agency as project manager, where he will handle the urban development portfolio and he will act as regional manager when necessary.


The new team took office in mid-August.

Improved electricity management and sustainable public transports: two new agreements between Ethiopia and AFD


Through these two projects linked to the energy and transport sectors, AFD accompanies Ethiopia in the implementation of its ambitious Growth and Transformation Plan II over the 2015 -2020 period.


A better real-time electricity dispatch

The first project, entirely financed by AFD through a 40 million euros soft loan, will allow the construction of a new load dispatch center controlling the national high-voltage electricity network.

Electricity being by nature very hard to store, the electric production must be constantly adjusted to the consumption in order to prevent the risk of unscheduled blackouts. Hence, the real-time nation-wide dispatching of the electricity in function of the needs is handled by a national Load Dispatch Center.

In regard to the strong increase of production, consumption and export of electricity in Ethiopia in the recent years, the current Load Dispatch Center designed 13 years ago is not appropriate anymore.


Exporting clean energy

The new Load Dispatch Center, allowing a better and more automated management of the network, will improve balance between generation and consumption.

Optimization of the electrical network will support addressing Ethiopian fast-growing domestic demand to guarantee a stable and high-quality delivery of electricity to its population and industries, as well as to export clean energy to the neighboring countries.


All on board of the sustainable bus system in Addis Ababa

Thanks to the second project AFD supports the Addis Ababa City Government (AACG) in the construction and launching of operation of the first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) pilot lane through a 35 million euros soft loan.

Indeed, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is one of the major components of the sustainable and integrated mass transport system promoted by AACG. BRT is a high-quality-bus-based transit system that delivers fast, safe, comfortable and cost-effective transport services to passengers, thanks to the provision of dedicated lanes and buses.

Complementary to the Light Railway Transit (LRT) and crossing it in two distinct locations, this 16 km BRT pilot lane will run from Wingate to Jemmo, going through the Regional Bus Station, Merkato and Kera.

This project is already under implementation though an initial 50 million euros financing and the service should be commissioned by November 2018.


Accompanying the Ethiopian growth

The two agreements, of a total of 75 million euros, were signed on July 28th, 2016 between the Ethiopian Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation, Ato Abdulaziz Mohammed and Mrs. Anne Chapalain, the French Agency for Development (AFD) Acting Regional Manager in Addis Ababa, in presence of H.E. Brigitte Collet, Ambassador of France to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and to the African Union.

With these two projects, France, through the French Agency for Development AFD, is delighted to support Ethiopia in the implementation of its ambitious Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) 2015-2020 (GC) and to strengthen its technical and financial partnership with both Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) and Addis Ababa City Government (AACG).

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