Geographical priorities

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To ensure its effectiveness, France’s development policy is adapted to the diverse situations and needs of its partner countries. Therefore, France tailors its action to the differentiated partnerships that take consideration of the geographical realities of the partner countries, instruments (grants and/or loans, project assistance, budgetary assistance, technical expertise) and sectors for action that are the most adapted to the needs of each country.

Financing tailored to countries’ development situations

  • France is focusing its solidarity efforts, via subsidies and grants, to a limited number of priority countries, all of which are Least Developed Countries (LDCs), particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Since the CICID of 2018, there are now 19 priority countries on the list. These countries make up the main challenge in terms of the financing needed to achieve SDGs, as their ability to finance basic infrastructure investment is limited. These priority countries receive half of State subsidies and two-thirds of the subsidies implemented by the AFD;
  • in middle-income countries, France focuses on loans, which it uses to mobilize other financial contributions. It has developed a wide range of instruments with non-sovereign actors, particularly the private sector, local government and civil society.

19 priority countries and specific focus on Africa

France focuses its solidarity funding on providing subsidies to 19 priority countries, all of which are Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and on implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement, with specific focus on Africa.

All these countries, with the exception of Haiti, are located in continental Africa. They receive the most concessional financing, receiving half of State subsidies and two-thirds of AFD subsidies.

As a priority it has committed to:

  • dealing with situations of fragility and ensuring peace and stability;
  • supporting the major cause of the President’s term which is gender equality;
  • boosting efforts for education and vocational training;
  • tackling climate change and biodiversity;
  • maintaining resolute action to improve healthcare.

Africa as a priority

In 2018, 44% of France’s total ODA went to Africa (€4.5 billion), over three-quarters of which (€3.5 billion) went to sub-Saharan Africa (34%, up 4% on 2017). Regionally, Africa remains the largest recipient of French ODA.

France has chosen to allocate at least 75% of State financing to subsidies and loans (excluding debt cancellation) and at least 85% of AFD financing to the Africa and Mediterranean region. Furthermore, in the 2014-2020 period, through the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), to which France has contributed 17.8%, €17 billion has been allocated to finance sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa (from a total budget of €30.5 billion).

Priority countries for French official development assistance
  • CICID of 8 February 2018: : Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
  • CICID of 30 November 2016 : Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
  • CICID of 31 July 2013 : Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ghana, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

Updated: January 2021