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EU foreign ministers endorse new Africa-EU Partnership Strategy

EU foreign ministers have endorsed a new joint EU-Africa Strategy that seeks to strengthen mutual engagement, address security, and promote sustainable, inclusive economic African development. The Strategy Communication, launched in May 2017, identifies two strands for these objectives. First, the strategy aims at building more resilient states and societies, with a focus on 1) preventing conflicts, address crises and peace-building, 2) strengthening governance systems; and 3) managing migration and mobility. Second, it aims at creating more and better jobs, especially for youth, with a focus on 1) attracting investments, 2) promoting renewable energy, 3) transforming African agriculture and agro-businesses, and 4) improving knowledge and skills in the African continent. The European Council’s endorsement underscored the importance of human rights, gender equality, and sexual and reproductive health and rights in the work to be supported by the new strategy.

Press release - Council of the EU

Think tank IDDRI releases report on how France can reach the 0.7% target

The Paris-based think tank Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) has co-authored a report with Global Health Advocates, analyzing the possibilities and challenges faced by France in reaching the 0.7% target. The report concludes that the French government could reach the target by 2022 or 2025, though this would depend significantly on strong, high-level political will. According to IDDRI, achieving the target will also require continuous engagement from NGOs, law makers, and the public. The report details feasible scenarios for increases in ODA funding, looking in particular at opportunities due to the French Financial Transaction Tax, and from budgetary allocations.

Report - IDDRI

France

AFD director gives vision for French development assistance under President Macron

In an interview with Euractiv, Rémy Rioux, the Director General of the French Development Agency (AFD), described President Macron’s election as a signal that France will step up its leadership for European cooperation, including in diplomacy, defense, and development. Acknowledging the possible loss of development leadership within the EU as a result of Brexit, he recalled  Macron’s pledge to increase French ODA during his five-year term, bringing the country closer to the 0.7% target. On migration-related issues, Rioux emphasized the interconnection between development and migration, and the role that development agencies play in finding solutions to these issues.

Article – Euractiv

France

France, Germany, and Italy issue statement on non-renegotiation of Paris climate accord

On June 1, 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni released a rare joint statement noting "with regret" the US' decision to pull out of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. They reiterated that the pact cannot be ‘re-negotiated’, as per President Trump’s suggestion. The three leaders also highlighted the importance of the agreement as "a cornerstone in the cooperation between our countries, for effectively and timely tackling climate change”, called on allies to speed up their efforts to combat climate change, and said they would do more to help developing countries adapt.

News article - Reuters

France Germany Italy

French civil society emphasizes urgency of fighting climate change

A number of French civil society organizations (CSOs) have strongly condemned US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement in a communiqué published by Coordination SUD, the largest CSO umbrella organization in France. The organizations reiterate the importance and urgency of fighting climate change, and emphasize the responsibility of countries that emit large amounts of CO2 to take action and show solidarity with developing countries, who are disproportionately impacted. The article includes statements from the Climate Action Network, Oxfam France, Friends of the Earth, Coordination SUD, CARE France, Action against Hunger, the Foundation for Nature and Humans, ATTAC France, and 350.org.

Communiqué – Coordination SUD (in French)

France

France's AFD publishes report on 2016 climate-related investments

Following the publication of its 2016 results, the French Development Agency (AFD) published a document highlighting its activities to support the fight against climate change. In line with France’s strategic priorities, the AFD places a strong focus on climate-related financing. According to the report, AFD spent €3.6 billion on projects that ‘have co-benefits for the fight against climate change and its impacts’. This is a 22% increase compared to 2015, mostly due to increased financing for climate mitigation projects – projects benefitting the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Financing for climate adaptation projects remained stable.

News page – AFD

Financial report on climate investments – AFD

France

Macron announces composition of new French government

Emmanuel Macron, France’s new president, has appointed Edouard Philippe (Les Republicains) as prime minister. Following Philippe's nomination, Macron unveiled the composition of his new government. For the first time, the French government counts nine women and nine men, though as ‘The Guardian’ points out, “only one [woman] gets a top role”. Further, the ‘Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development’, responsible for French ODA policy, has been renamed 'Ministry of Europe and of Foreign Affairs' in the new government. This new Ministry is now led by Jean-Yves Le Drian (Socialist Party), former Ministry of Defense under Holland.

Composition of the Government – Government website

News report – The Guardian

France

European leaders call for more funding to fight drug-resistant TB

Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports and French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development hosted a high-level meeting in Brussels to discuss the threat of tuberculosis (TB) in Europe and encourage more financing for research and development (R&D). At the meeting, which was entitled “TB and European Health Security: The critical role of TB R&D in the context of AMR”, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE), Vytenis Andriukaitis, along with government officials from France and the Netherlands underlined the urgent need to develop new tools to tackle multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) and improve health security across Europe.

The meeting was jointly organized by the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance), the Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (TBVI), and the German health NGO, Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW).

Press release - TB Alliance

France's AFD reaches record-high level of investment in 2016

The French development agency (AFD) has published its results for 2016, finding that the agency’s investments reached a record high €9.4 billion (US$10.4 billion), increasing by 13% since 2015. This is in line with the government's intention to step up its volume of activity to reach a yearly €12.7 billion by 2020 (US$14.1 billion). Notably, the results:

- Reaffirm France's strong focus on Africa with around €4 billion going to the continent in 2016. Looking forward, this level is likely to increase further as France has committed to invest €23 million in Africa between 2017 and 2021. 

- Recognize the ‘strategic alliance’ signed between the AFD and the Deposits and Consignments Fund (CDC) in December 2016 as an important milestone for the AFD. The partnership is now operational, and has led to the establishment of a €600 million infrastructure investment fund, aimed at investing in Africa.

In an interview, AFD’s Director, General Rémy Rioux, also reiterated the agency’s focus on climate, Africa, and gender.

Press release – AFD

Detailed results for 2016 – AFD

Interview with AFD’s Director General – AFD

France

President of AFD reiterates France’s priorities for Africa

Following a symposium entitled ‘Whole of Africa: The Issues of a continentwide approach’, President of the French Development Agency (AFD), Rémy Rioux, published an interview detailing the work of the agency in Africa. In it, he reiterates that Africa is a strategic priority of the AFD, including for official development assistance. AFD allocates 50% of its funding to the continent. 

Mr. Rioux also details the AFD's strategic and operational commitments to Africa. They include:

  • A strong commitment to the fight against climate change, with €6 billion for energy access by 2020, including €3 billion for renewable energies specifically;
  • A focus on tackling crises, with the setup of a facility dedicated to addressing vulnerabilities, with a yearly €100 million financed from the financial transaction tax (FTT); and
  • Strengthened investments in infrastructure, including the launch of an equity infrastructure fund with an initial allocation of €600 million, co-financed with the Deposits and Consignments Funds (CDC).

Interview - AFD

France