AFD and the French National Assembly Host Global Launch of World Bank Study on the Role of Governance and the Law in Promoting Development
AFD and the World Bank today co-hosted an international conference at the National Assembly to launch a new World Bank study which urged developing countries and international development agencies to rethink their approach to governance, as a key to overcoming challenges related to growth, equity, and security.
The 2017 World Development Report: Governance and the Law explores how the unequal distribution of power in a society interferes with the effectiveness of progressive policies, which aim to improve people’s lives. According to the report, power asymmetries help explain, for example, why model anti-corruption laws and agencies often fail to curb corruption, why decentralization does not always improve municipal services; or why well-crafted fiscal policies may not reduce volatility and generate long-term savings.
Using country examples of state building in Somalia, curbing corruption in Nigeria, growth challenges in China, and slums and exclusion in Indian cities, the report says there are three winning ingredients of effective policies: commitment, coordination, and cooperation. These should form the three core functions of institutions needed to produce better governance outcomes.
In thanking the National Assembly and AFD for hosting the Paris launch event, and for their long-running support of his agency’s development, mission, World Bank Chief Economist, Paul Romer, said he hoped that the 2017 World Development Report would make a significant contribution to better understanding of governance and practical ways to improve it:
“Government officials do not act in a vacuum. Their decisions reflect the bargaining power of citizens who jockey with each other to advance competing interests. We need to confront a complicated political process in every country where power can influence the outcome of that process and we have to ask how can make sure that process leads to progress for everyone,” said World Bank Chief Economist Paul Romer.
After a panel discussion with leading development practitioners and economists on how to implement the new governance findings, Rémy Rioux, the Chief Executive Officer of AFD delivered closing remarks in which he said that the new report complemented AFD’s own research and operational commitment to innovative, durable solutions which advanced the development ambitions of developing countries and their people worldwide.
“Governance is a cornerstone of development. Making institutions work better improves the delivery of public policies and services essential for the people. Building effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions is a fundamental Sustainable Development Goal that all countries, North and South, share in common. AFD now counts governance within its mission for development and will exercise this mandate in some 90 countries and territories, with all levels of government and society, to turn this agenda into reality. Today, I am delighted that the World Bank and AFD engage together in the conversation on governance. The official launch of World Development Report on the topic, for the first time ever in Paris, coincides with the presentation of AFD’s Roadmap on governance. As practitioners of sustainable development, we are convinced that sound governance drives peoples ever closer to a world in common” concluded Rémy Rioux, the Chief Executive Officer of AFD.
► For more information, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/wdr2017
The three winners of the 5th edition of the AFD Photography Prize received their awards this evening at a ceremony held at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie . The AFD Photography Prize for professionals was launched in 2012. It raises the awareness of a broader public about the development challenges of countries in the South and pays tribute to the essential work of committed photographers.
- AFD/Polka Prize for the Best Photo Report Project
Pascal Maitre for “Quand l’Afrique s’éclairera” (“Africa: Light for the Future”)
Prize: EUR 15,000 of financing for a report, its publication in Polka magazine and an exhibition at MEP + touring
Through composite satellite images, the northern hemisphere draws our attention to a “luminous pollution” while Africa seems “switched off”. In rural areas, 7% of inhabitants have access to electricity on this continent. Yet Africa has inexhaustible resources – sun, wind and water – which could generate electricity on a large scale. This report aims to highlight the challenges and importance of access to electricity in Africa.
Pascal Maître started his career as a photojournalist in 1979 when he joined the editorial team of Jeune Afrique Group, Africa’s leading press group. He has since been working for international magazines such as Géo and Life. His many reports take him all over the world, from Siberia to South America, including Afghanistan, with a predilection for Africa. He has been travelling the length and breadth of the African continent for over thirty years in order to cover this multifaceted Africa: nature, beliefs, the economic aspect and work, the conflicts and their consequences, but also the nightlife, because life never stands still in Africa.
- AFD/Libération Special Prize for the Best Photo Report
Corentin Fohlen for “Les Possibilités d’une île” (“The Possibilities of an Island”)
Crédit ©Corentin Fohlen
Prize: EUR 5,000 + publication in Libération
Haiti is all too often put down as being a cursed, poor and violent country, but it is much more than that. Far from these clichés, there is another dimension to this country which is seldom explored and revealed. Times are changing and operations are being implemented to attract tourists and investors. It is this beautiful image of hope that Corentin Fohlen shows in the report he made between January 2015 and October 2016.
Crédit ©Valerie Baeriswyl
Corentin Fohlen discovered photography while he was studying drawing. After having covered French and international news for over eight years: conflict in North Kivu, Afghanistan, revolution in Ukraine and Bangkok, riots in the Paris suburbs and in Athens, earthquake in Haiti, Arab revolutions in Egypt and Libya, first free elections in Tunisia, famine in the Horn of Africa… he decided to start a long-term work project in Haiti.
Since 2012, he has been conducting reflection on the consequences of the international takeover of the country.
- AFD/Nikon Grand Prix for the Best Multimedia Work
Anne Paq for “ Obliterated Families ”
Crédit ©Anne Paq
Prize: Nikon D500 reflex digital camera + DX 16-80 mm lens
The Israeli offensive, which lasted 51 days in the Gaza Strip in 2014, left 2,200 people dead, 11,000 injured and 100,000 people homeless. The war, followed so closely by the media, has been measured, numbered, counted. But beyond these figures, entire families have been destroyed. No figures can be put on the loss of a loved one, the bombing of a family home, or the trauma after the ceasefire. Yet for those who survive, once the war has finished, this is when the struggle begins.
This documentary is a long-term project telling personal stories, with memories of the Gaza Strip of the families whose lives were shattered during that summer of 2014.
Anne Paq is a French freelance photographer and has been based in Palestine since 2003. She is a member of Activestills, a group of committed photographers, which works on documenting political and social subjects.
Since 2010, she has focused her photographic work on the Gaza Strip and on capturing the daily lives of Palestinians under the occupation, refugees and displaced persons, the Barrier and its impact on communities, as well as popular resistance to the occupation.
Her photos are exhibited all over the world, including at the United Nations.
An anniversary, an increase in financial resources, a new project, and closer ties with Caisse des Dépôts: 2016 is a landmark year for AFD. It is stronger, more open, more responsive and is engaged in a major strategic turnaround. In December 2016, AFD is marking these developments by changing its visual identity.
Symbol of rings
These rings are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which set the direction for the projects led by AFD. Several rings rotate, veering slightly each time they turn. It is a logo in motion, a vibrant logo. Its shades illustrate both the transitions and transparency. “This logo expresses movement”, points out Rémy Rioux, Chief Executive Officer of AFD, “The transition from one state to another, the fact that nothing is set in stone, and that we can influence development pathways.”
Exchanges and partnerships
In this logo, two circles with two colors, with the same size and same intensity, blend together. They build together and exchange their experiences. These circles express AFD’s ambition to promote partnerships and exchanges. It is a unifying logo. While, in other times, AFD was part of a North-South relationship, this logo tells us that today, worlds overlap and become one.
Red of CDC alliance
Some of the basic features of AFD’s visual identity are still there: blue, white and red. But the red, with its slightly orange tint, is now that of the Caisse des Dépôts, and consequently symbolizes the newly signed strategic alliance between the two major French development institutions. “We are the operator for France’s development policy”, points out Rémy Rioux. “And tomorrow, even more so than yesterday, we are going to become far more rooted in France, to promote the expertise and experience of all the development actors in our country, and permeate our territories with the innovations and expectations seen in our countries of operation.”
Three letters and a motto
The three letters, A-F-D, are clearer and sharper. They are now the name and signature of Agence Française de Développement. Finally, the logo is completed with a new motto: “A Common World”. “The addition of this short phrase is a different way of expressing our project, of building up our economic theory, and stating our ambition. It marks the road which still lies ahead and the action that needs to be taken”, adds Rémy Rioux. “‘A common world’, it is not yet ‘a communal world’, but it is beginning to look like one!”
Signing of Strategic Alliance Charter between AFD and Caisse des Dépôts marks first step towards closer ties between the two institutions
Today, the Chief Executive Officers of Caisse des Dépôts and AFD have signed a Strategic Alliance Charter in the presence of the French President.
Rémy Rioux, Chief Executive Officer of Agence Française de Développement points out: “The reason for the closer ties between AFD and Caisse des Dépôts wanted by the French President is to provide France with a coherent mechanism to finance sustainable development, both nationwide and abroad, similar to those established in other European countries, but also in a number of emerging and developing countries. These closer ties are essential to support, at international level, the major transitions we are all facing: demographic and social transition, energy and ecological transition, territorial, digital, political and citizen-based transitions”.
For Pierre-René Lemas, Chief Executive Officer of Caisse des Dépôts: “Both institutions share common challenges: the Sustainable Development Goals and COP21 Agreement. They have the shared objective of supporting and speeding up the major transitions. We aim to have greater clout together on the European and international scene for the main development challenges, transitions, mobilization of savings and long-term investment. We also want to scale up our role in the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement”.
Several potential ways of pooling expertise between Caisse des Dépôts and AFD have been identified in this context, in particular: the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and the convergence of the strategies of the two institutions in terms of carbon footprint, the development of the provision of services for smart cities, creating innovative urban services in France and around the world, broadband deployment and the use of digital technology to speed up the achievement of the SDGs, and economic research and innovation, with the creation of a development “Lab” at AFD, which Caisse des Dépôts will support.
This alliance will allow AFD to strengthen its territorial base thanks to Caisse des Dépôts’ relations with its partners (companies, local authorities, etc.). At the same time, AFD will contribute to the internationalization of Caisse des Dépôts and will be able to assist it in the support it provides to its partners at international level. To achieve this, AFD and Caisse des Dépôts will facilitate staff exchanges. AFD agencies will receive Caisse des Dépôts missions in foreign countries and each Caisse des Dépôts regional department will have “internationalization correspondents for territories”. These positions may be entrusted to seconded AFD staff. The objective will be to assist local authorities in their positioning for setting up, financing and implementing their actions and projects.
Finally, a joint investment vehicle, currently being studied, with a target size of EUR 500m, will be set up in the coming year. It will focus on financing infrastructure for sustainable development in developing countries, especially in Africa: renewable energies; water and sanitation; telecommunications and digital infrastructure; waste treatment; transport; territorial development; health and education.
► About Caisse des Dépôts Group
Caisse des Dépôts and its subsidiaries constitute a public group and long-term investor for the benefit of the general interest and economic development of territories. Its mandate was reaffirmed by the Economic Modernization Act of 4 August 2008. The Group is recognized for its expertise in mandate management and focuses its action on four strategic transitions for France’s long-term development: territorial, ecological and energy, digital, demographic and social transitions.