AFD’s commitments top the EUR 10BN mark in 2017

Rémy Rioux, Chief Executive Officer of Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Group, presented on this 12 April 2018 the key figures for the public institution’s activity in 2017. With EUR 10.4bn of commitments, AFD is continuing its growth, with an 11% increase in its activities in a year and a 25% increase over the past two years.

These commitments, for an unprecedented amount, are in line with the French President’s wish “to have a France equal to the development challenge”. This was the thrust of the speech made by Emmanuel Macron in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) on 28 November 2017: “Consequently, I made the commitment, right at the beginning of my term, to achieve by the end of this term 0.55% of gross national income being dedicated to Official Development Assistance. That is a firm and demanding commitment. (…) Because those efforts are France’s contribution to the success of a whole continent, of many countries, and because it is also part of our success”.

While 70% of French people, including 71% of 15-25 year-olds, are in favor of supporting developing countries (IPSOS 2018 Barometer), AFD is continuing to increase the volume of its financing to implement the international community’s objectives (SDGs, Paris Climate Agreement), by extending its field of operations, working more closely with its partners in France, Europe and around the world. AFD is consequently continuing to increase the volume of its financing, in line with the Presidential commitment, an increase confirmed by the decisions of the Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development (CICID) of 8 February 2018.

Africa continues to be AFD’s priority, with EUR 5.2bn of commitments in 2017. The “All Africa” commitments of AFD – the first agency to stop cutting Africa in two, between North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa – experienced extremely strong growth in 2017 and exceeded EUR 5bn at Group level, including PROPARCO’s activities (+15% compared to 2016). Africa accounts for 50% of AFD Group’s total commitments in foreign countries and 80% of the State’s financial effort. The Sahel Alliance, launched by France and Germany in July 2017, which seven other international donors have since joined, also enshrines this strategic priority. Its members are set to mobilize EUR 7.5bn over the next 5 years.
With EUR 1.6bn in 2017, the French overseas territories, a bridge between France and the world, are once again central to the strategy of AFD, which aims to contribute to placing them at the forefront of innovation for sustainable development and better integrating them into their regional ocean environment. In 2017, 42% of commitments concerned equipment and infrastructure, i.e. EUR 644m out of the EUR 1.6bn mobilized.

A leader in fighting climate change

The fight against climate change and its consequences benefited from over EUR 4bn of financing in 2017, including some EUR 900m allocated to adaptation projects. Over EUR 1bn were earmarked for renewable energies in Africa in 2017. The international mobilization for the climate was further stepped up in December 2017 with the One Planet Summit organized in Paris, at the invitation of the French President, an event in which AFD was closely involved. Several of the 12 commitments made on this occasion call on a strong contribution from AFD, including: responding to extreme events in Island States, protecting land and water against climate change and increasing the international mobilization of development banks.

During the Summit, AFD announced its aim of becoming the first “100% Paris Agreement” institution. This means that in the future, AFD undertakes to ensure that all the projects it supports are consistent with the low-carbon and resilient development paths of countries and to assist them in their transition towards carbon neutrality, in line with the provisions of the Paris Agreement.

2017 was also marked by an enhanced international role entrusted to AFD, whose Chief Executive Officer, Rémy Rioux, took over the chair of the largest network of development banks in the world, the International Development Finance Club (IDFC), which gathers the 23 largest national and regional public development banks with an international vocation, three-quarters of which are located in countries in the South. This club has a total financial capacity of over USD 800bn a year, including USD 160bn for climate projects. Under AFD’s chair, the Club aims to benefit from greater international recognition so that it can be extremely active in contributing to the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and increase the number of concrete projects between its members.

New fields of action

AFD also works to explore new fields, with the aim of increasing the links between our country and the South, in both directions. Our action in the field of governance is experiencing rapid growth, with over EUR 900m of commitments in 2017. AFD is also developing its activities in the fields of cultural and creative industries, higher education, innovation and digital technologies, social business, and education in development and international solidarity. The French President has tasked it with building a platform for change through sport, with the aim of bringing the worlds of sport and financing for development closer together, with sights set on the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

In line with the mandate entrusted by the CICID in February 2018, AFD Group aims to become the French platform for the development policy. The financing approvals of its private sector subsidiary, PROPARCO, have increased to EUR 1.4bn. In addition, in 2019, the Group will integrate Expertise France, the French agency for international technical cooperation, whose competences will enhance the quality of AFD Group’s range of services for our partners in the South. The objective is to receive all those who can provide resources, expertise and capacity for action and direct them towards emerging and developing countries.