Africa: a priority for French official development assistance


France’s development policy operates within the framework set by the international community, particularly the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly, the Paris Climate Agreement and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development. It is also aligned with the New European Consensus on Development, adopted in 2017.

France focuses its solidarity efforts through grants to 19 priority countries, which all belong to the least developed countries (LDC) category.

These 19 priority countries are located in Africa, with the exception of Haiti. They receive the majority of soft loans, amounting to half of France’s grants and two thirds of the grants operated by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

Africa is a key focus of French development policy: it receives one third of French bilateral official development assistance (ODA) (€2.9 billion in 2020), an increase of 40% compared to 2019.France prioritizes its commitment on:

  • Addressing situations of fragility and ensuring peace and stability;
  • Supporting gender equality, one of the great causes of President Macron’s five-year term;
  • Strengthening efforts for education and professional training;
  • Taking action to fight against climate change and for biodiversity;
  • Maintaining determined action in support of healthcare.

The 19 priority countries of French development policy received €1.6 billion in French ODA in 2019: the leading recipient was Senegal (€281 million), followed by Ethiopia (€158 million), Mali (€145 million) and Burkina Faso (€137 million).

For more on France’s ODA:

Updated: May 2021