AFD in Ethiopia


Cultures en terrasses - Région des peuples du Sud


The French Development Agency (AFD) has been authorized to operate in Ethiopia from September 1993. Its first interventions were managed from Djibouti, with no permanent representative in Ethiopia. A country office was created in Addis Ababa under the authority of the Djibouti regional office in 1997. The regional office was transferred to the Ethiopian capital city in September 2007.

Between 1993 and 2007, almost all interventions were focused on the water sector, due to AFD’s expertise in the field and to the needs expressed by the Ethiopian authorities in order to reduce the country’s lag in this matter. They aimed at reaching Millenium Development Goal (MDG) number 7.c, which corresponds to reducing by half the share of the population that has no access to drinkable water and to a sanitation system.

The creation of the regional office of Addis Ababa and the permanent presence of a director from 2007, the progressive strengthening of the executive staff from 2008, and the diversification of the financing tools, have opened new perspectives and have allowed AFD to increase its activity in Ethiopia. AFD has widened its scope of intervention, always in coherence with the objectives of the Ethiopian government. AFD’s financings have reached the following sectors: urban infrastructure, renewable energy, air transport, the productive sector, protection of the environment, and climate action.

Photo : Vergnet S.A.


The strategy of the AFD group in Ethiopia is based on the Partnership Framework Document (PFD) France-Ethiopia for 2011-2013, and on the Growth and Transformation Plan designed by the Ethiopian government for 2010-2015.

As such, the AFD focuses on two sectors selected by the two countries and contributing to the Millenium Development Goals:

  • water and sanitation,
  • and infrastructure, especially in the energy and urban development fields.

Since the creation of the regional office in 2007, new sectors have nonetheless benefitted from AFD’s activities (air transport, financial sector, rural development), thanks to a diversification of the financing tools. Indeed, the improvements in the macroeconomic situation over the last years have allowed the AFD to use all its financial toolbox, including concessional sovereign loans and guarantees on bank loans. This has enabled it to play a greater part in the implementation of the Ethiopian development and poverty reduction strategy.

AFD’s areas of focus are defined by the Country Intervention Framework 2010-2012:

Infrastructure development in the water, energy and urban sectors  

► Capacity building and investment fostering in the productive sector 

► Other areas of intervention


The Addis Ababa regional office covers five countries: Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan and Eritrea.

In South Sudan, AFD has delegated to the German cooperation the implementation of a water and sanitation project in Yei, situated in the south of the country. This 6 million euros grant (co-financed to an equal amount by the German cooperation ministry) aims at providing around 20 000 people with access to drinkable water, and around 6 500 people with access to sanitation. Capacity building of the administration and education to hygiene are also major targets of the project. The Addis Ababa AFD office is following closely the situation in South Sudan, and will study financing opportunities may they arise. However, safety remains a major constraint.

The political, economic and safety situations in Sudan and Somalia will curb our interventions in those countries. Nonetheless, the office remains monitoring potential financing opportunities. AFD has been operating in Somalia on an anti-HIV program over the border areas between Djibouti, Ethiopia and Somaliland, implemented by Handicap International, an NGO. This program is managed by the Djibouti office, as it is the competent unit over Somaliland. AFD is also financing a  sector capacity reinforcement program for the gum Arabic in Sudan.

Last update in May 2017

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. Find out more by following this link