Agence française de développement
Agence Française de Développement is the operator for France’s bilateral development finance mechanism. It is a public industrial and commercial institution with the status of specialized financial institution. Its action is in line with the policy set out in France’s Framework Document for Development Cooperation. This document was approved at the end of 2010 and in 2011 was translated into a three-year contract specifying objectives and resources between the French Government and AFD.
AFD’s teams are based in Paris and Marseille and in a network of seventy agencies and representations in developing countries and the French overseas provinces.
AFD Group comprises a private sector financing arm, Proparco, and is also a shareholder of housing companies and a financial company in the French overseas provinces, where the Group plays a specific role in this sector.
AFD is also responsible for the management of the French Global Environment Facility (French GEF), which cofinances projects that reconcile environment and development.
AFD has been entrusted with a mandate by the French national authorities to contribute to economic and social development in its geographical areas of operation. It achieves this by financing and supporting development projects and programs, participating in the debate, research and dialogue with the relevant stakeholders.
The aim of these actions is to contribute to more sustainable and shared economic growth, improve living conditions in the poorest regions and countries, contribute to preserving the planet and help stabilize fragile or post-conflict countries.
AFD carries out this mandate through its financing, risk analysis and hedging instruments, and expertise in training and capacity building, which it provides to both public and private stakeholders. In the poorest countries, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa, AFD mainly operates through grants. In middle-income countries, it allocates soft loans and provides technical assistance, which strengthens the contracting authorities for the funded projects and develops cooperation on common challenges in these countries. In emerging countries, it allocates market-rate loans to finance projects that fight against climate change. In the French overseas provinces, it implements support, advisory and financing activities for local public and private stakeholders and promotes initiatives for cooperation and regional integration.
In 2012, AFD Group approved a total of EUR 6.98bn of financing, including EUR 1.5bn in the French overseas provinces. Over 69% of the Government’s financial effort focused on Sub-Saharan African countries, particularly the priority poor countries, and almost 14% on Mediterranean countries.
Reflection on development assistance methods and participation in international strategic debates are two full-fledged activities at AFD. The “knowledge production” activity allows us to adjust operations to changes in practices, needs and operational contexts.
AFD maintains a regular dialogue on the objectives and results of its action with parliamentarians, ministries, regional and local authorities, enterprises and civil society organizations that are concerned by development issues. It also works with them to raise the French public’s awareness of these issues.