The French Government authorized AFD’s intervention  in Egypt in 2004. The Agency started project identifications in 2005. In April 2006, AFD and the Ministry of International Cooperation signed an Framework Agreement, approved by Presidential Decree and ratified by the Parliament; the agreement entered into force in February 2007. Photo © Ed Yourdon


EUR 80 million from the French Development Agency to Support Thousands of Micro and Small Enterprises in Egypt


The loan will finance a credit line managed by the Social Fund for Development, which will be used to facilitate the access to credit of 80,000 microenterprises and 1,250 small enterprises located in poor areas throughout Egypt.

During his official visit to France, the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Mr. Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, attended the signing of a loan agreement of EUR 80 million between the Egyptian Government and the French Development Agency (AFD). The loan will finance a credit line managed by the Social Fund for Development, which will be used to facilitate the access to credit of 80,000 microenterprises and 1,250 small enterprises located in poor areas throughout Egypt.

Micro and small enterprises are an important engine for economic growth in Egypt, but their development is often hampered by their inability to meet banks’ lending requirements. By facilitating their access to credit, the AFD-funded credit line is expected to create or secure nearly 95,000 job opportunities.

The loan will be coupled with a EUR 15 million grant from the European Union that will be used to finance urban upgrading works in four unplanned areas in Greater Cairo. The financing agreement for this grant will be signed in a separate ceremony to be held in Cairo in December 2014.

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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.”                               

Call for Interest - Egypt the Road Ahead : Towards generating long term growth and employement


AFD intends to launch a study, co-financed by the African Development Bank, aiming at identifying the activities which could be the engine of long run growth and decent jobs creation in the forthcoming years in Egypt. The analysis should go as deeper as data availability and consistency allow it. International comparisons may be relevant in some parts of the study to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the Egyptian economic specialization. The expression of interest must be received no later than Sunday, April 20th, 2 pm, Cairo time.

137 million EUR for financing projects in Egypt on the occasion of the visit of the Executive Director for Operations of the French Development Agency


On the occasion of a visit to Egypt on March 24, 2014, the Executive Director for Operations of the French Development Agency (AFD), Mr. Jean-Marc Gravellini and Mr. Nicolas Galey, Ambassador of France in Egypt signed with Mr. Ashraf El-Arabi, the Egyptian Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, a financing agreement of 80 million EUR for a project aiming to support employment and improve living conditions in poor neighborhoods


This project is financially supported by the European Union, and will be implemented by the Social Fund for Development. The signing of the financing agreement took place in the presence of Mr. Ibrahim Mehleb, Egyptian Prime Minister, and Mrs. Hanaa El- Hilali, Managing Director of the Social Fund for Development.
This project of 95 million EUR has two components: on one hand, a credit line of 80 million EUR for micro and small enterprises spread across the Egyptian territory, and, on the other hand, a grant from the European Union amounting to 15 million EUR for urban rehabilitation in four unplanned areas in Greater Cairo where live 1.2 million people (Ezbet Kheir Allah and Al-Zawya Al-Hamra in Cairo governorate, Ard El- Lewa and Miet Oqba in Giza governorate).
Mr. Gravellini also signed with the Egyptian Central Bank and the Ministry of Housing, Public Infrastructure and Urban Development, a financing agreement for a program to improve water and waste water services in four governorates in Upper Egypt (Kena, Sohag, Assiut and Minya). This program, which will benefit to 15.3 million people, is co-financed by the AFD up to 57 million EUR in partnership with other European donors.
In addition to signing agreements, Mr. Gravellini had meetings with Egyptian ministers during his visit. He had a bilateral meeting with Mr. Ashraf El-Arabi, the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, to review cooperation activities between AFD and Egypt and discuss future prospects. Mr. Gravellini also met Mr. Ibrahim El- Domeiri, Minister of Transport. The transport sector is indeed the largest sector of AFD activity in Egypt. It concentrates 45% of the funds approved by AFD in Egypt, especially with the construction projects of the second and third phases of Line 3 of the Cairo metro. Mr. Gravellini approached transport projects already supported by the AFD, and explored with Mr. El- Domeiri tracks for future cooperation with AFD in the field of transport.
It should be mentioned that this visit followed two previous official visits : the one of the AFD Director of the Middle East and Mediterranean Department in November 2013 and the one of AFD Chief Executive Officer in April 2013, reflecting the importance attached by the AFD to Egypt.

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