Sport and Development

Sport is an ideal tool for development and social cohesion. In fact, it is helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the 110 countries where AFD is active. In its contributions to peace, education, gender equality, social cohesion and health, sport has opened up new horizons for AFD, in cooperation with civil society and the public and private sectors.
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AFD and Sport, Drivers of Social Cohesion and Development
kid, child, bike, Curitiba, Brazil, sport

Supporting social innovations through sport

Sport, Burundi, Play international, EN

Supporting social innovations through sport

Whether competitive or recreational, professional or amateur, sport is a physical activity that promotes well-being, creates social interactions and fosters universal values (respect for others, team spirit, collective work, etc.). It can therefore be used to help develop more sustainable and inclusive societies. While for years AFD has included “sport” components in the projects it supports, sport has now become a key focus area in its “social cohesion” strategy.

We promote education and social cohesion through sport from an early age through our work with French civil society organizations like Play International, which is authorised by the Ministry of Sport and is recognised as being in the general interest. In Burundi, Play International uses “Playdagogy” principles to keep young people in the educational system through sport and create social cohesion to rebuild the country. In Mayotte, the NGO is leading an educational and sport project aimed at fighting discrimination. Other national partnerships have also been established. 

In addition, AFD partners with international organizations like the NBA, FIFA and the IOC. These partnerships are aimed at promoting sports activities, raising awareness among the young athletes benefiting from these programmes on sustainable development issues and the organizing of sporting events. 

Promoting local sports initiatives

basketball playground, young people, sport, Guyana

Promoting local sports initiatives

AFD aims to promote local sports activities by supporting local initiatives that foster social cohesion. Local sports activities are a powerful driver of social inclusion. Among girls and women, they offer a source of autonomy and self-esteem. We therefore encourage integrating a “sport” component in urban, educational and health projects at AFD, particularly through sustainable infrastructures and public policies for youth we support in Africa.

This is a long-term commitment, as witnessed in the many years AFD has participated in financing municipal sports facilities (neighbourhood stadiums, swimming pools, etc.) as part of its urban development projects.

However, with 70% of the African population currently under the age of 30, the organization of the sports sector in Africa is in need of improvement. Promoting local sports initiatives will mean renovating infrastructures for populations in the most deprived neighbourhoods. The PROVILLE 2 urban renovation project in Tunisia will therefore include the construction of collective urban sports facilities.

Supporting growth in an emerging sector

children, sport, football, Jordan

Supporting growth in an emerging sector

Currently estimated at 2% of global GDP by the OECD, as opposed to 0.5% in the 1970s, the sports sector generates economic activity and jobs that are unlikely to be relocated. Its growth rate is higher than that of the world economy. Sport also contributes to savings in public expenditure through its positive impacts on health and inclusive education.

In cooperation with its subsidiary, Proparco, AFD is working to mobilize the private sector in the countries where it is present to develop a dynamic sports sector (sporting goods manufacturers, sustainable facilities, training schools, etc.).

A complete range of financial products

young people, sport, Fortaleza, Brazil

A complete range of financial products

AFD has financial products that are well suited to development through sport initiatives:

  • For public investments for sustainable sport: sovereign or non-sovereign concessional loans for building sustainable sports facilities.
  • For private investments in the sustainable sport economy: loans under market conditions through our subsidiary Proparco, equity, banking intermediation and the Fund for Technical Expertise and Experience Transfers (FEXTE).
  • Initiatives that promote social cohesion are financed via the AFD NGO initiative and the French Local Authorities Financing Facility (FICOL).

Sport, as a unifying factor and force for inclusion, is listed in Agenda 2030 for sustainable development: it contributes to peace, the empowerment of women and young people and helps achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in health, education and social cohesion. AFD has therefore integrated the sports component in its 2018-2022 Strategic guideline plan. Our goal: to support the implementation of sustainable development initiatives involving sports.

During his African tour in July 2018, President Emmanuel Macron promoted sports as a powerful lever for action for young people and social and economic development. The President of France announced the launch of an initiative supported by AFD to mobilize sports sector stakeholders for sustainable development.

The initiative that AFD will be launching in 2019 will rely on a digital platform. It will bring together the worlds of sport and development finance to mobilize dedicated resources, provide opportunities for stakeholders to meet (donors, foundations, federations, leagues) and support athletes’ development projects. We are also working to capitalize on expertise. Our research teams have been mobilized to measure the societal and economic impacts of sports activities.

The sports calendar is promising. With Paris set to host the 2024 Olympic Games, new opportunities await for developing a diversified portfolio of projects. The organization of an international event is sure to inspire numerous initiatives in partner countries promoting sport for all, initiatives that AFD will be able to support.
 

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