Rome - The heads of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and AFD today signed an agreement to work together to develop rural areas, which includes the provision of a €200 million loan to IFAD.
This loan gives the opportunity to increase investment in rural areas of developing countries and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of ending hunger and poverty by 2030.
"This is an important agreement between IFAD and AFD,” said Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD. “At a time when governments face constraints on development funding, and with the demand for IFAD’s services higher than ever, this loan gives us the opportunity to increase investment in rural areas of developing countries and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of ending hunger and poverty by 2030.”
“Through AFD, France wanted be the first member of state to support, under IFAD's sovereign borrowing framework, its 2016-2018 programme. This sovereign loan of 200 million euros marks, I am convinced, a new step in the partnership relations between our institutions. We both share a common dedication to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Joining our forces for agricultural, rural and local development is a key step in this direction”, said AFD’s Director General Rémy Rioux.
AFD, a public financial institution that implements policy defined by the French government, seeks to combat poverty and promote sustainable development. IFAD is an international financial institution and specialized United Nations agency focused on eradicating rural poverty. Both organizations share a similar approach to agricultural and rural development and prioritize investments in small-scale farming and share the goals of achieving food security and sustainable rural development.
The two organizations have already collaborated on a number of initiatives including the development of weather insurance products and support to farmers’ organisations in Africa. Through the Memorandum of Understanding and the loan agreement signed today, the two organizations commit to working closely together in the future, with a focus on increasing investments in rural finance, adaptation to climate change, gender equality and stemming migration.
IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided US$18.4 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 464 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub. www.ifad.org
AFD is marking the preparation of its new strategy for Africa by organizing a symposium on 12 April at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, in partnership with France Médias Monde . High-level speakers will be discussing these issues during various roundtables.
30 million km2. 1.2 billion inhabitants. 2,000 modern languages. 54 countries. 5 different climates. 1 continent.
Yet Africa is very often understood in a dual manner: North Africa on the one hand, and Sub-Saharan Africa on the other. This is, at any rate, the framework of interpretation adopted by donors, in their approach to relations with the continent. Such an interpretation presupposes that there is a homogeneity across Sub-Saharan Africa, which is neither proven, nor necessarily experienced or thought of in such a way by the continent’s populations and institutions.
What are the political, social, economic and cultural dynamics at work today, from Cape Town to Rabat, from Dar-es-Salaam to Nouakchott? What are the issues of a continentwide approach to Africa? What are the views today of philosophers, economists and entrepreneurs on this subject?
These are all questions which Agence Française de Développement wishes to debate during this symposium, at a time when it is developing its new strategy for Africa. High-level speakers will be discussing these subjects during various roundtables.
© Photo Yellow Mao
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.