Foundations are important donors, because they make private financial resources available for a public cause. They also catalyze synergies alongside banks and development agencies.
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Meeting Bill Gates and Rémy Rioux
Foundations are legal entities working in the public interest. They play an increasingly significant role financially and in terms of influence, innovation, and strong local presence for development projects. For AFD, creating partnerships with these fast-growing actors represents a real opportunity for increasing aid effectiveness.

AFD launched a special research project in order to better understand foundations and to explore the potential for collaboration with them around the world. Three studies were carried out: an overall study on the emergence and role of philanthropic foundations in the field of development and two supplementary studies to shed light more specifically on philanthropy in Asia and in the Arab world. From these studies ensued publications, an overall synthesis, and a presentation at AFD.

The relationships developed up to now are very different in nature, depending on the type of partner foundation and the objective(s) pursued. The relationships may be occasional ones for the sharing of expertise, or they may be operational and financial partnerships. In this latter case, AFD has several possible forms of intervention: cofinancing projects in the field, parallel financing, or financing projects or project components implemented by the foundations.


Mother, child, baby, health, vaccine, Democratic Republic of the Congo


Since having become partners in 2015, AFD and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have jointly financed several operations in the healthcare and sanitation sector. They signed a framework agreement on October 24, 2016, to provide support over the 2016-2019 period to projects in sub-Saharan Africa in the following priority sectors: health care and nutrition, agriculture and food security, sanitation, financial innovation, and development education.

This agreement will help build a more ambitious partnership and maximize the impact of operations on vulnerable populations, thanks to the mobilization of various types of financial tools.


Agriculture, cotton, Afghanistan


The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) is the philanthropic foundation with which AFD has developed the most intense partnership. On December 9, 2008, France (AFD and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and AKDN signed an agreement to make their excellent collaboration official.

Our partnership is currently extremely wide-ranging (health care, education, microfinance, infrastructures, energy, tourism, aviation, and others). It concerns a large number of projects carried out jointly in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, and Uganda in particular.

During their meeting in September 2016, His Highness the Aga Khan, Chairman of AKDN, and Rémy Rioux, Chief Executive Officer of AFD, agreed to explore other prospects for partnership, including in new sectors of shared interest.


We also work in partnership with various foundations in different forms:

  • by cofinancing civil society organization (CSO) initiatives in relation with our activities to support French CSOs;
  • by financing or cofinancing projects with foundations of pharmaceutical laboratories;
  • in relation with French enterprises, often in the form of foreign exchange of expertise;
  • and in relation with the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM).