Assessment of AFD Activity in French Overseas Territories in 2018: With a Commitment of Over One Billion Euros, AFD Remains Mobilized

published on 06 June 2019
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Gorgon of Mayotte, illustration of Overseas results 2018 AFD
Annick Girardin, Minister for Overseas France, and Rémy Rioux, Chief Executive Officer of Agence Française de Développment, today presented the ministry with a report on AFD activity in France’s overseas territories during 2018. With a commitment of 1.4 billion euros, the Agency remains a major player in overseas economies.

Continuing mobilization of AFD with 1.4 million euros committed to overseas economies

In 2018, AFD financial commitments in France's overseas territories attained 1.4 billion euros, representing 12% of total AFD Group activity. 

commitment of AFD in overseas territories


  • Reunion Island and French Polynesia experienced economic growth that has led to renewed investment. Within this context, AFD works with local players in both geographical areas on projects with strong economic impact, including attractiveness for tourists, airline access, digital connectivity and a reliable supply of electrical power. 
  • Mayotte showed renewed impetus in the second half of 2018 that has led to increased investment and marked progress in AFD activity in all sectors. In this region, AFD commitments have grown significantly over the past three years, rising from 38 million euros in 2015 to 60 million euros in 2018.
  • In the Antilles, AFD remains a key player in local investment and stands out in particular with the deployment of an offer of support and advice for local communities.   

A new organization around the “Three Oceans” to reinforce cooperation among regional zones

In 2018, AFD activity in France’s overseas territories was reorganized around three “regional zones”. Three new support hubs were created that now cover France's overseas territories and foreign countries in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans. The Three Oceans Department is designed to achieve better integration of France's overseas departments and provinces and their key players within the regional zones. 
Regional integration aims to:

  • Develop a strategic regional vision to analyze cross-border weak points and plan projects with a broader scope;
  • Propose support for regional initiatives, such as those concerning higher education, professional training or health;
  • Prevent and limit cross-border weak points related to areas like the environment, health, security and climate;
  • Decompartmentalize concerns and activities shared by the Three Oceans countries and territories in a way that supports the development of overseas and foreign companies, as well as French expertise, in promising industries.

The Three Oceans Department was created at AFD headquarters to steer this new organization, and a regional directorate has been implemented in each zone.

AFD confirms its commitment to the public sector and provides new tools for support

In 2018, the public sector was still the main beneficiary of AFD activities in France’s overseas territories. Fifty-one percent of the Group’s overseas activities were dedicated to funding public projects, for a total of 696 million euros. This makes AFD a leading funder of projects in the overseas public sphere. 

AFD activities in overseas territories - public sector 2018

We note that the scope of assistance has been enlarged and that the means of support for the overseas public sector have been diversified to ensure that they are able to adapt to new expectations in these zones. The “Green” Public Sector Loan, which is a zero-interest loan for environmental projects that was initially limited to overseas territories and countries in the Pacific, was extended to all overseas territories in 2018.   

The Ministry for Overseas France has also granted two new subventions totaling two million euros each:

  • A subvention for the deployment of a program of assistance for construction projects of the equivalent green fund in the French Overseas Departments and on Saint Martin;
  • A second subvention to assist in implementing reconstruction operations on Saint Martin in the wake of hurricane Irma and to make structuring investments in the French Overseas Departments.

Links between AFD and the communities continue to be reinforced. The Agency has significantly increased its missions of consulting and technical support and has expanded its offer with respect to 2017. In 2018, 172 financial analyses were made, 103 analyses were restituted to communities and public establishments, 37 financial projects were supported by AFD experts and 19 partnership agreements were signed.

Funding for a dynamic private sector oriented toward renewable energy and the creation of solid employment

AFD activities in overseas - private sector 2018

In 2018, activity to promote the private sector remained stable. With a total of 660 million euros, private sector funding represents 49% of total activity—as compared to 45% in the previous year. This result reflects a 50-million-euro increase in refinancing by the banking sector in addition to AFD activity.

Funding of renewable energy projects has shown strong growth. Over the 2012-2018 period, 23 projects were funded, for a total of 231 million euros. Forty-two percent of these commitments enabled the financing of infrastructures for the production of solar energy. The remainder was divided as follows: 25% for wind power, 23% for biomass, 7% for biofuel and 1% for hydroelectricity.

The range of financial tools for projects for smaller businesses encourages the creation of jobs and value, in particular through microfinancing institutions and guarantee funds. A new 13-million-euro line of credit granted to ADIE in 2018 will provide support for over 2,000 micro-entrepreneurs in 2019 and 2020. 

An upswing in research and evaluation to continuously improve AFD action

In 2019, the Three Oceans Department began work on the ability to evaluate overseas projects, with the goal of designing an evaluation approach that is appropriate for these areas. 

AFD also deploys research programs tied to the challenges of sustainable development in France's overseas territories. On December 11, 2019, AFD, along with INSEE, IRD and the institutes of emission (IEDOM, IEOM), will lead the sixth edition of the CEROM Conference. This conference features research and innovation in support of overseas sustainable development. It will bring together players from the world of research, the private sector and civil society to propose public policies and ways to encourage innovation. 

In 2018, the partnership between the Ministry for Overseas France and AFD once again showed itself to be a very positive factor in the development and outreach of overseas territories. These territories can be pioneers in proposing solutions for adapting to climate change, studying and protecting biodiversity, using clean energy and inventing new agricultural ecosystems. This goal that we share with AFD is expressed in the Overseas 5.0 trajectory. Since January 1, 2019, projects supported by AFD overseas are part of this trajectory. Thanks to a coalition of all the parties concerned, including AFD, we will be able to mobilize ourselves more effectively to serve the sustainable development of the overseas territories. 

Annick Girardin, Minister for Overseas France
Rémy Rioux, CEO of AFD, France's overseas territories


With 1.4 billion euros committed in 2018, AFD confirms its commitment to overseas economies. With a reinforced offer of support and advice, the Agency will be a key partner for France’s overseas provinces. AFD will also continue to maintain a relationship of trust with the private sector, which the Agency strongly supports in the context of ecological transition projects, in particular those concerning renewable energy. The past year involved a reorganization of AFD activity around three strategic zones to encourage stronger economic integration of the overseas territories in their regional environment, to protect their exceptional biodiversity and to combat weak points, in particular with respect to climate change. The creation of the Three Oceans Department is a full-fledged part of the 5.0 trajectory led by the Ministry for Overseas France and reinforces the Agency’s role in serving sustainable overseas development.

Rémy Rioux, Chief Executive Officer of AFD