2017 annual results: AFD's commitments top the EUR 10bn mark

published on 12 April 2018
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Rémy Rioux, Chief Executive Officer of Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Group, today presented the key figures for the public institution’s activity in 2017 which, with EUR 10.4bn of commitments, is continuing its growth, with a +11% increase in its activities in a year and +25% over the past two years.

These commitments, for an unprecedented amount, are in line with the French President’s wish “to have a France equal to the development challenge. (...) Consequently, I made the commitment, right at the beginning of my term, to achieve by the end of this term 0.55% of gross national income being dedicated to Official Development Assistance. That is a firm and demanding commitment. (...) Because those efforts are France’s contribution to the success of a whole continent, of many countries, and because it is also part of our success” (Ouagadougou speech, 28 November 2017).

While 70% of French people, including 71% of 15-25 year-olds, are in favor of supporting developing countries,  AFD is continuing to increase the volume of its financing to implement the international community’s objectives (SDGs, Paris Climate Agreement), by extending its field of operations, working more closely with its partners in France, Europe and around the world. AFD is consequently continuing to increase the volume of its financing, in line with the Presidential commitment, an increase confirmed by the decisions of the Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development (CICID) of 8 February 2018. 


Rémy Rioux, its Chief Executive Officer, explains AFD’s strategy: “2017 was marked by a rapid and ambitious increase in AFD’s financing. We have especially focused on strengthening our “non-sovereign” activity for civil society, territorial authorities and the private sector in the South, with a 30% increase and accounting for some EUR 5bn, but also for national and multilateral development banks, European institutions and large foundations. With EUR 10.4bn of commitments, AFD is continuing on its growth path to support the major transitions in developing countries. At the Government’s request, we are currently defining our new strategy to give even more strength and clarity to our action, and to contribute to building a world in common.”   

Africa continues to be AFD’s priority, with EUR 5.2bn of commitments in 2017. The “All Africa” commitments of AFD – the first agency to stop cutting Africa in two, between North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa – experienced extremely strong growth in 2017 and exceeded EUR 5bn at Group level, including PROPARCO’s activities (+15% compared to 2016). Africa accounts for 50% of AFD Group’s total commitments in foreign countries and 80% of the State’s financial effort. The Sahel Alliance, launched by France and Germany in July 2017, which seven other international donors have since joined, also enshrines this strategic priority. Its members are set to mobilize EUR 7.5bn over the next 5 years. 

With EUR 1.6bn in 2017, the French overseas territories, a bridge between France and the world, are once again central to the strategy of AFD, which aims to contribute to placing them at the forefront of innovation for sustainable development and better integrating them into their regional ocean environment. In 2017, 42% of commitments concerned equipment and infrastructure, i.e. EUR 644m out of the EUR 1.6bn mobilized.

The fight against climate change and its consequences benefited from over EUR 4bn of financing in 2017, including some EUR 900m allocated to adaptation projects. Over EUR 1bn were earmarked for renewable energies in Africa in 2017. The international mobilization for the climate was further stepped up in December 2017 with the One Planet Summit organized in Paris, at the invitation of the French President, an event in which AFD was closely involved. Several of the twelve commitments made on this occasion call on a strong contribution from AFD, including: responding to extreme events in Island States (Commitment 1), protecting land and water against climate change (Commitment 2) and the International mobilization of development banks (Commitment 10).

During the Summit, AFD announced its aim of becoming the first “100% Paris Agreement” institution. This means that in the future, AFD undertakes to ensure that all the projects it supports are consistent with the low-carbon and resilient development paths of countries and to assist them in their transition towards carbon neutrality, in line with the provisions of the Paris Agreement. 

Key figures
  • EUR 10.4bn of commitments (+11%)
  • Strong growth in the activity for companies, local authorities and CSOs in the South (+30%), in particular via PROPARCO, the 100% private sector subsidiary 
  • Strong growth in commitments in Africa (+15%), in particular in the context of the Sahel Alliance 
  • EUR 4bn for the climate 
  • EUR 1.6bn for the French overseas territories
  • 752 projects with measurable concrete impacts: drinking water for 822,000 people, 3,395 MW of renewable energies installed, schooling for some 400,000 young girls, and the protection or restoration of 15 million hectares of natural areas.

2017 was also marked by an enhanced international role entrusted to AFD, whose Chief Executive Officer, Rémy Rioux, took over the chair of the largest network of development banks in the world, the International Development Finance Club (IDFC), which gathers the twenty-three largest national and regional public development banks with an international vocation, three-quarters of which are located in countries in the South. This club has a total financial capacity of over USD 800bn a year, including USD 160bn for climate projects. Under AFD’s chair, the Club aims to benefit from greater international recognition so that it can be extremely active in contributing to the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and increase the number of concrete projects between its members. 

AFD also works to explore new fields, with the aim of increasing the links between our country and the South, in both directions. Our action in the field of governance is experiencing rapid growth, with over EUR 900m of commitments in 2017. AFD is also developing its activities in the fields of cultural and creative industries, higher education, innovation and digital technologies, social business, and education in development and international solidarity. The French President has tasked it with building a platform for change through sport, with the aim of bringing the worlds of sport and financing for development closer together, with sights set on the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

In line with the mandate entrusted by the CICID in February 2018, AFD Group aims to become the French platform for the development policy. The financing approvals of its private sector subsidiary, PROPARCO, have increased to EUR 1.4bn. In addition, in 2019, the Group will integrate Expertise France, the French agency for international technical cooperation, whose competences will enhance the quality of AFD Group’s range of services for our partners in the South. The objective is to receive all those who can provide resources, expertise and capacity for action and direct them towards emerging and developing countries.

AFD, a public and inclusive financial institution, is the main actor in France’s development policy. We commit to projects that genuinely improve the daily lives of people, in our overseas territories and in developing and emerging countries, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the priorities for France’s external action. We operate in 109 countries via a network of 85 agencies and are currently supporting over 3,500 development projects.


An action on the five continents:

  • 50% of AFD’s financial commitments in foreign countries (EUR 5.2bn in 2017, i.e. +15% in a year) go to Africa, the priority for its action, where 80% of the budgetary resources allocated by the State are concentrated,
  • 20% in Asia and the Pacific,
  • 14% in Latin America and the Caribbean, 
  • 16% in the Middle East. 

AFD finances sustainable development paths that contribute to the five major ongoing transitions in countries in both the North and South: demographic and social transition, territorial and ecological transition, energy transition, digital and technological transition, political and citizen-based transition. 

Solutions which generate additional positive impacts for populations. In 2017, AFD financed 752 development projects, i.e. 77 more projects compared to 2016. They will, for example, contribute to:

  • Strengthening basic education in Côte d’Ivoire and reducing inequalities;
  • Improving living, training and employment conditions in Lebanon;
  • Securing access to water in Quito following strong population growth;
  • Supporting India’s energy transition via electricity for the city of Jodhpur. 

Projects with measurable concrete impacts. In 2017, the projects supported by AFD have had positive impacts which have:

  • Provided sustainable access to drinking water for 822,000 people;  
  • Provided 365,000 people with access to electricity; 
  • Protected or restored 16 million hectares of natural areas;
  • Installed 3,395 MW of renewable energies;
  • Saved 15,000 m3 of drinking water;
  • Got 396,000 girls into school.