The Agence Française de Développement (AFD, or French Development Agency) is a public institution providing development financing. A specialized financial institution, AFD finances sustainable development projects carried by government local authorities, public companies, and the private and associative sectors on five continents—with primacy given to Africa which receives two-thirds of AFD commitments—and in overseas France. These projects focus on urban development and infrastructures, rural development, industry, financial systems, and education and health. AFD offers a range of financial instruments: subsidies, guarantees, shareholdings, and all forms of assisted and commercial loans—in response to each situation.
Established in 1941, it is a central figure in France’s official development assistance system. At the crossroads between economic growth, poverty reduction and environmental protection, AFD’s interventions aim to attain the UN's Millennium Development Goals. AFD’s strategy is guided by sustainable development. It develops financial and intellectual partnerships with other donors and contributes, in conjunction with its supervisory authorities, to the elaboration of public policies and to France’s influence in the sphere of development. AFD edits numerous publications, including Afrique contemporaine ("Contemporary Africa"), a French-language review on Africa, the Letter of AFD's economists, a series of publications labelled as Notes and Documents.
The main prerogatives of the AFD are to fight against poverty and inequality, to support economic growth and to preserve global public goods. The AFD's main sectors of intervention consist of supporting the health sector, improving access to potable water and sanitation, education and training, supporting the private sector, and combating global warming. The AFD also owns real estate companies that promote social housing in France's overseas regions.