Mayotte is France’s newest “department” and is facing a number of challenges: local authorities in need of support, infrastructure in need of development and a private sector in need of rejuvenation, among others. AFD is working there alongside local stakeholders to promote development that is 100% compliant with the Paris Climate Agreement and 100% supportive of social cohesion. AFD is also helping protect the territory’s unique natural heritage.
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Fishermen's Hall of M'Tsapéré, Mayotte
AFD and Mayotte: boosting economic activity and reducing inequality
landscape, nature, The Island in the Lagoon, Mayotte, Bonillo

Improving access to essential services

Access to essential services in Mayotte

Supporting public sector investment

Mayotte lags far behind in meeting the needs of a rapidly-growing population that has doubled in the past twenty years. Access to essential services is marked by inequality in multiple areas. A third of homes lack running water, social services and healthcare are under-equipped, and public transport is insufficient, leading to ghettoization and social and professional exclusion, especially among women.

AFD is working to structure the technical aspects of infrastructure projects and to support local authorities' capital investment policies in water and sanitation, transportation, waste collection and processing and access to culture, sports and digital technology.

AFD also assists in reinforcing healthcare services, such as at Mayotte hospital and other, multidisciplinary medical centers, and in developing the medico-social sector to support people with disabilities and those in need of care.

Promoting skills development

Skills development in Mayotte

Promoting skills development

The young population – nearly 50% of the population is under 18 – means the island faces considerable needs in education, whether in terms of infrastructure, equipment or adjustments to teaching.

While Mayotte has had a fully functioning education authority since 2020, schooling remains a notable issue in a department where 37% of primary-level classes operate on a rotating basis and less than 60% of three-year-olds are enrolled in preschool. Expanding higher and professional education in Mayotte is also essential to improving access to jobs.

To tackle these problems, AFD funds and supports local authorities in defining, steering and financing programs to build and update education infrastructure. The Agency's Overseas Fund and partnerships with government services have helped to provide 1.5 million euros in project management support to boost and speed up multiple school building and renovation projects.

Enhancing natural resources and promoting renewable energy

Renewable energy in Mayotte

Enhancing natural resources and promoting renewable energy

With its reef-lagoon complex of nearly 1,500 km², Mayotte has a living heritage that is unique in the world. The mangroves, wetlands and forests are home to over 1,000 species of plant and 140 species of bird. However, these ecosystems are extremely vulnerable to pressure from human activity, such as land take and environmental pollution.

Economic development should be encouraged in a responsible way, with special attention paid to projects' positive and negative externalities. AFD is encouraging the development of eco-responsible tourism and local and sustainable agriculture, along with processing and distribution channels that encourage formal employment, particularly for women.

AFD is also supporting associations' and public partners' initiatives to raise awareness and help protect the environment. 

Facilitating Mayotte's integration into its regional environment

port of Longoni, Mayotte

Facilitating Mayotte's integration into its regional environment

Although Mayotte shares a strong social, cultural, linguistic and historical heritage with the Comoros archipelago, the regional context of the island is specific by its great economic and cultural diversity (Reunion, Mauritius, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Tanzania). In this environment of contrasts, regional synergies remain underexploited.

As part of its Mayotte 2022-2026 strategy, AFD is specifically encouraging initiatives to increase economic, environmental and healthcare synergies between Mayotte and other countries and territories in the southwest Indian Ocean. It is financing cooperative initiatives designed to harness complementarities between regions and encourage environmentally responsible production and export sectors while promoting biodiversity, notably by working with civil society organizations.

projects underway in late 2022
million euros committed over the 2008-2022 period
of the 23 local authorities supported over the last 10 years

Mayotte is a French territory located in the southern hemisphere between the African continent and Madagascar, in the middle of the Indian Ocean. It is a small, 376 km² archipelago that features a coral lagoon of over 1,500 km², one of the largest in the world. With 300,000 inhabitants, the "lagoon island" has the highest population density of France's overseas territories (690 inhabitants/km²).

Mayotte, which became France's 101st department in March 2011, is unique because of its insularity and its distance from the mainland. It lags far behind in terms of health, education and infrastructure, which hinders its economic and social development. The archipelago also faces strong population growth.

This rapidly changing territory boasts genuine strengths, including real attractiveness to tourists, exceptional biodiversity, a young population and rapid economic growth, although it still relies heavily on the public sector.

AFD has been a partner of Mayotte since 1990. To contribute to the sustainable development of France's newest department, it supports local public and private players through loans, studies and consulting services.

AFD's Mayotte office is directly attached to the Indian Ocean regional office in Saint-Denis.

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Three Oceans | Mayotte

Mayotte: Breaking Down Clichés Through Sports

As France’s youngest department, with more than half its population under the age of 18, Mayotte naturally focuses on many education-related issues. It is an ideal playing field for the entertaining and educational activities of PLAY International, an NGO that uses sports to combat exclusion based on disabilities and gender inequality, among other factors. A report with Paralympic champion Arnaud Assoumani.


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