AFD in Uganda


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

The COMBO project: Reconciling growth and environment


To some people, economic growth and environment protection sound like oxymoron. The COMBO project successfully challenges this view : through its program, Uganda entrepreneurs will learn how to develop their business while supporting sustainable development.

The Wildlife Conservation Society, Forest Trends and Biotope have commenced a four-year project (2016-2019) which aims to reconcile economic development in Africa with conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services. This project is funded by AFD - the French Development Agency, FFEM - the French Facility for Global Environment and the Mava Foundation.

Comprising members of the government, civil society and the private sector, COMBO’s participants will work together to strengthen Uganda’s capacity to curb negative impacts from various existing and planned development projects.
The goal of the COMBO project is to contribute to the establishment and implementation of effective mechanisms to avoid, minimize, restore and offset impacts of biodiversity and ecosystems in order to achieve “no net loss” or a “net gain” of biodiversity. 
These improvements in mitigation, particularly the last step of offsets could generate additional funds for conservation activities in Uganda. The project will focus on five components namely :
  • Improve policy to reduce development project impacts on biodiversity ;
  • Develop tools to measure potential impacts on biodiversity and identify measures to reduce impacts and developing baseline and monitoring methodology ;
  • Develop institutional, legal and financial mechanisms for offset implementation, including conservation trust funds ;
  • Support the uptake of best practice in the public and private sectors in demonstration landscapes and developing lessons learnt and
  • Build national and regional capacity by sharing lessons learnt.
The project will follow international best practices, policy and methodologies and adapt them for Uganda. As these principles and standards have received widespread review by a range of stakeholders, this approach will facilitate the improved application of the mitigation hierarchy.

AFD supports Green Financing in Uganda


AFD and Diamond Bank Uganda signed an agreement to open a $10 million credit line to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects (small hydro, biomass, geothermal, solar, biogas).

Monday the 11th of July, in the presence of H.E. Sophie Makame, Ambassador of France to Uganda, a contract was signed between the AFD (French Development Agency) and Diamond Trust Bank Uganda (DTB-U), respectively represented by Yves Boudot, the regional director for AFD in East Africa and Varghese Thambi, managing director of DTB-U.

Through this agreement, a $10 million credit line has been created to finance energy projects such as energy efficiency or renewable energies (small hydro, biomass, geothermal, solar, biogas). Once their technical and financial viability verified, loans will be granted to private companies and investors. Technical assistance is made available to banks to enable the technical evaluation of the projects submitted to them. The assessment procedure is fully-funded by France and the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund set up by the European Commission.

This partnership with DTB-U is part of the SUNREF label (Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance) launched in 2006 by AFD. SUNREF aims to encourage the private sector of developing countries, including commercial banks to invest in green energy and sustainable development. By offering funding opportunities, AFD wishes to encourage and support the energy transition. "This is a real opportunity for Ugandans to enhance their energy efficiency thanks to competitive interest rates," said Varghese Thambi from DTB-U.

In addition, SUNREF is also a tool for regional integration in East Africa: the various projects funded by the label in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda have been designed to be one day connected to the same network. According to Yves Boudot, the technical assistance provided by SUNREF in East Africa is decisive: it helps the region to diversify its energy mix while providing ingenious solutions that are technically, financially and economically viable.

Since 2006, 42 projects; 70 banks and 30 countries have benefited from the SUNREF program.

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