Hampered by poor social indicators, an undiversified economy and failing infrastructure, the Republic of Congo faces numerous challenges to its social and economic development. AFD has been one of the country’s historic partners and is providing support in a variety of sectors, including energy, health, clean water, jobs and the environment...
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Port, Congo
AFD's action in Congo, development

Developing youth employment

Strengthening youth employability, Congo

Developing youth employment

Nearly 30% of young Congolese are unemployed and the majority have difficulty accessing formal employment. To help make businesses more competitive and to provide young people with training opportunities and jobs, AFD is supporting Congo in three main areas:

  • developing young people's skills and employability by supporting vocational training for skilled workers in growing sectors of the economy, such as agriculture and rural professions, services, industrial maintenance and construction and public works.
  • modernizing higher education and research by improving basic and continuous training for teachers, financing research projects focused on society’s development challenges (health care, environment, engineering and digital technology) and promoting collaboration between universities and the private sector.
  • matching job supply and demand, by supporting the restructuring of the Congolese Employment Agency (ACPE) and the National Fund for Employability and Apprenticeship Support (FONEA).


Facilitating access to high-quality basic infrastructure and services

Congo, Port, Pointe‑Noire

Facilitating access to high-quality basic infrastructure and services

With 70% of the population living in cities, Congo is one of the most urbanized countries in Africa. To improve living conditions for the Congolese people and diversify the country's economy, AFD finances infrastructure that meets high environmental and social standards, with the aim of:

  • promoting the sustainable development of cities, particularly Pointe-Noire, Brazzaville, Nkayi and Owando, through construction work to extend and renovate rainwater drainage networks, build and renovate health care, education and social institutions, and carry out structural urban improvement works (Corniche road, city center roads and the Bacongo and Makelekele communes in Brazzaville).
  • facilitating access to drinking water and electricity by supporting the extension and improving the reliability of networks and the technical and economic performance of water and electricity utilities.
  • improving health care services via increased hospital care, human resource management for health care professionals, paramedic training and greater epidemic response capacity.
  • making the autonomous Pointe-Noire port more competitive, by expanding its reception capacity, simplifying its procedures and carrying out eco-friendly development works.

Taking action to help the most vulnerable

Supporting the country's most vulnerable people, Congo

Taking action to help the most vulnerable

The majority of Congolese people are living below the poverty line and working in the informal employment sector. Only 15% of Congolese have access to social security services. To address these major issues, Congo has adopted a proactive and ambitious social action policy. AFD's initiative aims to reduce the inequalities which act as a barrier to development and create tensions that undermine social cohesion. Through several complementary programs, AFD is supporting:

  • the development of a sustainable social security system across the entire national territory. The amount of welfare paid varies between CFAF 40,000 and CFAF 120,000 per quarter, depending on the composition of the family receiving these funds. Payment is conditional on children attending school and their health needs being met. AFD financing has helped provide for 50,000 people living in poverty.
  • the set-up of a reception and career guidance service for the most vulnerable and support for 1,000 people with their professional integration plans.
  • the development of social workers’ skills through the consolidation of initial and continuous training schemes.
  • the effort to reduce social exclusion through the support of local initiatives implemented by civil society organizations.

Developing natural resources and adapting to climate change

Congo forest

Despite being heavily dependent on the oil sector, Congo boasts an abundance of natural resources and exceptional biodiversity. AFD is giving its full backing to the Congo in promoting the green economy and land-use planning, protecting forests and their biodiversity, and anticipating the effects of climate change. AFD is guiding Congo towards a sustainable, inclusive and territorial development trajectory, by:

  • boosting agriculture, particularly in the sectors of vegetable growing, cocoa and development of local resources (agri-food processing and packaging, cosmetology and pharmaceutical applications),
  • promoting effective land-use planning and collaborative forest management (forest management practices, inclusion of village and indigenous communities, food security, and anti-poaching measures),
  • implementing a sustainable exploitation method for fishing resources (conditions for small-scale fishing, modernized management of the Pointe-Noire industrial fishing port, a monitoring, control and surveillance system, scientific knowledge of stock and its evolution),
  • developing a climate change adaptation strategy (master plans for erosion management and drinking water supply, investment plan for resilient agriculture, vulnerability studies on fragile ecosystems, national climate change plan) with the help, in particular, of the Adapt'Action Facility.
million euros allocated since 2009
people with improved access to drinking water
projects financed in 10 years

Classified as a lower-middle income country, the Republic of Congo faces numerous challenges to its social and economic development. These challenges include an undiversified and volatile economy, insufficient infrastructure, very poor social indicators, a lack of resource development, and a need for capacity building. 

According to the 2012-2016 National Development Plan, Congo’s interventions revolve around eight priorities: improving governance, diversifying the economy, strengthening the private sector and competitiveness, improving infrastructure, fostering education and training, promoting job creation, encouraging social development and inclusion, and ensuring balanced and sustainable development.

AFD has been a major partner of Congo since 1960 and is helping to implement these strategic priorities by working primarily in the following three sectors: 

  • Infrastructure (water, energy, transport, sanitation) 
  • Human development (health, social protection, vocational training and higher education) 
  • Sustainable development (forest, environment, agriculture).

AFD is also working with the private sector through bank guarantees that enable SMEs to improve their access to credit. 

Having allocated over €680 million in grants since 2009, AFD is now one of the Congo’s key partners. 

AFD's Congo office is directly attached to the Central Africa regional office in Douala.

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