Partner / Financing / Africa

The AFD - Caisse des Dépôts alliance

A partnership to weigh more heavily on the major issues of development
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Signature of the strategic alliance between the AFD and la Caisse des Dépôts, with François Hollande
The alliance with Caisse des Dépôts marked a new phase in the life of AFD. The driving force of this partnership is the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which have become the common guide for public action in France and abroad.

The strategic alliance charter with Caisse des dépôts et consignations (CDC) was signed on 6 December 2016, during AFD's 75th anniversary celebrations. The charter defines the details of the cooperation between AFD and CDC for the next five years, which will "enable France to have a powerful and coherent system for sustainable development financing, in France as well as abroad," as AFD Chief Executive Officer Rémy Rioux explains.

The two institutions already have significant similarities. Both make long-term investments to serve public interest, and they work in the same sectors: infrastructures, urban development, energies (especially renewable ones), housing, and business support. And both are providing support during the great transitions at work. Their method is above all one of partnership. Bringing them into alliance is a means of strengthening development and solidarity policy in France and abroad.

Before its strategic alliance was concluded, the new couple identified 11 priority fields for collaboration. These include energy and ecological transition, digital technology, innovation, social and inclusive economy, knowledge production, and urban development. Since then, experts from CDC and AFT have been working on concrete proposals in all these fields. Their networks and the experts are connecting together little by little.

An AFD with stronger relations in France

city hall, Roubaix, Hauts de France

AFD already maintains close relations with France's local communities, within the framework defined by the Government regarding diplomacy and actions abroad. But the proximity and the relation of trust that exist between those communities and the regional offices of the CDC are enabling AFD to intensify these partnerships and to involve other stakeholders: public or para-public institutions, civil society organizations, and businesses. Stronger impetus will therefore be possible when it comes to helping enterprises internationalize.

AFD will acquire a network within France and the CDC a network abroad. This is crucial now that all public and private French stakeholders are internationalizing and that innovation is increasingly found in the South

Rémy Rioux, AFD Chief Executive Officer

An even more international CDC

Johannesburg, city, urban landscape, South Africa

As for the CDC Group, it fosters relationships with many public banks and institutions, especially in Africa and the Maghreb, China, and Brazil. It also has a presence in very many countries through shareholdings and subsidiaries.

Yet, the AFD network (85 agencies as well as geographical departments at its headquarters) will enable it to increase its influence and effectiveness. AFD will supply the CDC Group information and analyses, in accordance with the customary rules of confidentiality, and will also share its expertise on the realities regarding financing needs and existing stakeholders.

The two institutions will be able to provide effective guidance for French public and private stakeholders in their development abroad.

Pierre-René Lemas, CDC Chief Executive Officer

Joint projects

Alliance Caisse des dépôts AFD, New Era solar plant, India, energy

From the end of 2016, the first projects initiated by the two public institutions took shape: exchange of personnel and of expertise; startups competitions, such as Digital Africa, organized by AFD and Bpifrance; and the setting up of the think tank I4CE (Institute for Climate Economics).

First common financial tool: STOA

An investment fund endowed with €600 million, STOA, has been created to finance infrastructure projects—in Africa, Asia, and Latin America—in the areas of energy, transportation, telecommunications, and digital infrastructures.

logo STOA

STOA contributes to the achievement of low-carbon projects. With average investments ranging between EUR 15m and EUR 50m, AFD and CDC estimate that they can attract over EUR 6bn of investments through the leverage effect. This will result in strong impacts for an alliance which aims to have a long-term influence on major international issues. 

The investment fund STOA made its first investments in 2018. Since it was set up, STOA has already made equity investments in a reference hydropower project in Cameroon and in a wind energy platform in India.
In March 2019, STOA made a strategic equity investment in a South African open-access fiber network company, a pilot sector for economic growth in Africa.

We're in the same business: project financing and support for public policies. Development is our common DNA. Indeed, CDC is France's development bank and AFD the development bank of France's partners abroad. At this time when we are striving toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the strategic alignment between domestic development and international development is a sure bet for the future.

Rémy Rioux, AFD Chief Executive Officer
years old for CDC