How does AFD operate in India?
What is the operational context? 

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In India, AFD's main focuses for cooperation are the promotion of sustainable urban development, energy and the conservation of biodiversity and natural resources.

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Focuses for cooperation

Supporting sustainable urban mobility in India


New Delhi, June 9th 2017 - AFD signs 3.5-million-euro Grant Facility Agreement with Government of India for implementing the MobiliseYourCity initiative financed by the European Union in favor of sustainable urban mobility.

The signing took place in the presence of Mr. Selvakumar, Joint Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Mr. Pascal Pacaut, Head of Asia Department at AFD Headquarters in Paris, Ms. Claire Thuaudet, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of France to India, and Mr. Tomasz Kozlowski, Ambassador of the European Union to India.

India, one of the first countries to benefit from the implementation of the international initiative MobiliseYourCity

MobiliseYourCity (MYC) is part of an international initiative supported by the French and the German Governments. It was launched at Paris’ 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in December 2015.

With the support of a coalition of international partners (development agencies, urban and transport planning agencies, NGOs), MYC seeks to back 100 cities engaged in sustainable urban mobility planning to reduce GHG emissions worldwide.

Playing a major role in the fight against climate change, India is one of the very first countries to benefit from this initiative.

A technical assistance program to support Nagpur, Kochi and Ahmedabad to implement a more sustainable urban mobility

In India, MYC aims at supporting three pilot cities (Nagpur, Kochi and Ahmedabad) in their efforts to reduce their GHG emissions related to urban transport and at helping India to improve their sustainable urban transport policy.

To do so, MobiliseYourCity provides a methodological framework, capacity building and technical assistance to the local and national governments.

The initiative, financed by the European Union under its Asia Investment Facility (AIF), will be implemented by the Ministry of Urban Development (MouD). AFD will be monitoring the program and ensuring compliance with AFD’s and EU’s due diligences.  

The expected benefits of MYC include reduced carbon emissions, diminished traffic congestion, better air quality, more inclusive and livable cities, and improved economic competitiveness of these cities.

The grants delegated to AFD by the European Union Under the Asia Investment Facility enable AFD to bring additional value to its partners by implementing technical assistance and capacity building programs.

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

AFD - CPR discussion on 'Precarious Neighborhoods'


In the context of the book Rethinking Precarious Neighborhoods published by AFD's Research Department, AFD and the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) have hosted a discussion on 'Precarious Neighborhoods' in New Delhi.

Precariousness has increasingly become a typical caracteristic of urban spaces, where social and economic transformations lead to rises in material and environmental insecurity. 

AFD and CPR have hosted a discussion on 'precarious neighborhoods', to present and discuss how precarious neighborhoods can be approached within the broader urban context. The discussion was moderated by Partha Mukhopadhyay, senior fellow at CPR, and featured panelists from government and academia alike.

The discussion was in the context of the book Rethinking Precarious Neighborhoods  published by AFD, which aims to change our perspective on such urban spaces. Building on extensive field research across all continents, the contributions in this book demonstrate that the diversity and uniqueness of these precarious neighborhoods is not well understood and challenge traditional concepts surrounding clearance, rehousing, rehabilitation, or the formal categories of citizenship. They should neither be vivified nor glorified, they are simply home to ordinary citizens who live and work in diverse cities.  

Watch the full video of the discussion: http://www.cprindia.org/events/6068  

Download the book Rethinking Precarious Neighborhoods: http://librairie.afd.fr/etudes-13-precarious-neighborhoods/ 


Irène Salenson is Research Officer, AFD, Paris
Solomon Benjamin is Associate Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras.
Agnès Deboulet is Professor of Sociology, Université Paris-VIII Vincennes Saint-Denis, and Associate Director of the Laboratoire Ville, Architecture, Urbanisme Environnement, LAVUE-CNRS.
Véronique Dupont is Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Research for Development (IRD), and Senior Visiting Fellow, Centre For Policy Research (CPR).
Bipin Rai is Member-Expert (Non-Official), Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB).
Rakesh Ranjan is Senior Consultant, NITI Aayog.
N Sridharan is Professor at the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi.
S K Tiwari is Economic Advisor, Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation.
Renu Khosla is Director, Centre for Urban and Regional Excellence (CURE)





Supporting climate finance innovation in India


A key player in financial innovation for development, AFD is an active member of the India Innovation Lab for Green Finance which helps identify and develop innovative instruments for financing green infrastructure in India.

Providing concrete solutions to the challenges of financing investments in green infrastructure

In a context of rising energy demand, rapid urbanization and fight against climate change the Government of India has made it a priority to drive development through cleaner means of growth. It has launched a series of ambitious programs to promote the development of low-carbon sustainable urban infrastructure and to develop renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Increasing private investment – through investment vehicles that better match the needs of the private sector – and leveraging more investment from the public sector is critical to driving the country’s cleaner growth.

The India Lab has been developed in response to this need for better investment vehicles for green infrastructure in India. It builds on the successes of the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance - also supported by AFD - while adapting them to India’s challenges and opportunities.

Identification and development of innovative finance instruments

The India Lab is comprised of high-level expert members from government, financial institutions, and renewable energy and infrastructure developers.

Together these members identify and help develop the next wave of cutting-edge instruments to finance renewable energy (including utility scale, distributed, and off-grid), energy efficiency, urbanization and other channels for green growth.

Further to an open call of ideas, the Lab members assess the ideas based on their potential to unlock investments for green infrastructure in India. The winners then receive support and expert advice from Lab members to develop and implement their ideas over the next year.

AFD and PROPARCO - AFD’s subsidiary dedicated to private investment - bring in their expertise in financial innovation and in financing clean energy and sustainable urban projects in India to support the selection process and the development phase of the selected ideas.  

After supporting four ideas in 2016, the India Lab selected four new ideas for green finance instruments in February 2017:

  • Solar Investment Trust: An investment trust to attract more capital at a lower cost to small-scale residential and industrial rooftop solar projects
  • The Matchmaker Service: A platform to match qualified investors with a pipeline of climate-related investment opportunities for cities in India
  • Solar Agro-Processing Power Stations: An enterprise to use solar off-grid systems for agro-processing in villages, to replace diesel-fueled mills or manual work by women
  • Sustainable Energy Bonds: bonds to attract impact investors looking for debt exposure and offering them a set of instruments that provides return as well as standardized impact measures.

The India Lab has been endorsed by the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and is hosted and funded by Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, with additional financial support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Oak Foundation, and the UK Government.

This initiative meets the resolves of AFD to promote financial innovation, especially in the field of climate finance. 

More information on the India Innovation Lab for Green Finance: http://greenfinancelab.in/   

Focus on Gender Equality for International Women’s Day - In Kochi, Southern India, a metro project supported by AFD that strongly promotes women empowerment


On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Ms. Sumi Nadarajan, Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) Deputy General Manager (Technical), has been invited to participate in a round table on ‘Gender equality, a solution for development’ organized at AFD’s headquarters in Paris.

Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), supported by AFD, aims to relieve traffic congestion in the city of Kochi by building and operating a light metro. The metro is now under construction and the first reach will be operational this year.

Taking action to accelerate gender equality in India

In addition to adopting a series of measures to guarantee women’s safety in the metro, KMRL has committed to promote women empowerment in its operation and maintenance by providing employment for more than 1000 women.

To this purpose, KMRL has signed a MoU with Kudumbashree, one of the largest woman-empowerment programs in the country. The metro agency has roped in the women’s self-help group for getting services such as management of station premises, ticketing, customer services, parking management and running of metro canteens. Ms. Sumi Nadarajan underlines that ‘involvement of women in these sectors will enhance their earnings as well as their social standing and decision making in their community’.    

The recruitment process for 680 posts reserved for women has already started and many more positions will be opened to women in the future. KMRL has also put forward a proposal to include transgender people in its employment opportunities.

Once it deploys members of Kudumbashree self-help group for managing station operations, KMRL will have the largest women crew in any metro in India.

Meeting AFD Group’s strategic orientations on gender

Gender equality is now recognized by the international community as being a powerful engine for sustainable development, growth and poverty reduction.

In March 2014, AFD adopted its own gender strategy:  The Crosscutting Intervention Framework (CIF - in French)  on Gender and the Reduction of Inequalities between Men and Women . The aim is to contribute to sustainable, inclusive and equitable development between men and women.

By 2017, AFD has three objectives to meet, which will be evaluated annually:  


Kochi, much more than a metro


In India, the city of Kochi has 2.1 million inhabitants. Its population growth exacerbates congestion and pollution and means that the current public transport system can no longer operate in a sustainable manner. Discover how the metro Answers these challenges and much more!

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