Hampered by poor social indicators, an undiversified economy and failing infrastructure, the Republic of Congo faces numerous challenges to its social and economic development. AFD has been one of the country’s historic partners and is providing support in a variety of sectors, including energy, health, clean water, jobs and the environment...
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Port, Congo
Port, Congo

Developing infrastructure

Congo, Port, Pointe‑Noire

Developing infrastructure

The Republic of Congo’s infrastructure needs renewing if it is to establish new business sectors and create jobs. AFD is supporting this renewal in the water, energy and transport sectors:

  • We are financing a vast programme that is expanding and renovating some 800 km of the water network in the outlying districts of Brazzaville. The objective is to improve access to clean water for more than 450,000 households. 
  • We are supporting the priority investment programme of the national electricity company (SNE), making the energy supply more reliable by limiting technical and commercial losses. And, to improve the SNE’s performance, we are helping to re-organise its in-house training.
  • We are funding the “Coastal Road and Bacongo and Makelekele District Development” project. This will improve access to the city’s southern districts, helping to develop their economy, improve their sanitation and hygiene and ensure the traffic flows more smoothly while enhancing the Congolese capital’s natural environment.
  • Finally, AFD is helping to improve the Pointe-Noire/Brazzaville transport corridor by means of a partnership with the Autonomous Port of Pointe-Noire.        

Improving the living conditions of the most vulnerable

Congo woman

Improving the living conditions of the most vulnerable

Half the Congolese population still live below the poverty line. AFD is helping the government in its efforts to reduce poverty through the 2013 National Social Action Policy. The objective is to reduce inequalities, which inhibit development and are a source of tension detrimental to social cohesion.

Supporting social policy

Together with the World Bank, AFD is helping to establish a system of social safety nets by extending the Lisungi project and assisting the authorities in drafting the National Social Action Policy (TELEMA and PARFTS projects).

AFD is also supporting the rehabilitation/restructuring of Brazzaville’s University Hospital, particularly through the renovation of its water and sanitation networks, so that it is able to respond to the people’s priority health needs. 

Improving human resources for health 

AFD is funding the human resources for health development support project (PADRHS). The objective is to map the provision of medical and paramedical staff. This action is in line with a national programme that is overseeing a reform of health staff training and the rehabilitation of the paramedic schools in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire. Together with the EU, AFD is also supporting a project to support continuing development for paramedics (PARAMED), which will improve the quality of care by training 1,500 paramedics in hospitals and health centres.

Improving access to employment through vocational training

We are working towards improving the balance between the supply of vocational training and the needs of the job market, particularly in the construction, health and energy sectors: building training centres, supporting private vocational training initiatives, etc. 

Managing natural resources sustainably

Congo forest

Managing natural resources sustainably

The Congolese authorities need to coordinate international commitments made in relation to sustainable forest management and biodiversity with the desire to make the most of the natural resources. The objective is to limit the tensions between the different uses: agriculture versus forest, urban development versus peri-urban agriculture, etc. 

AFD has been supporting the sustainable management of Congolese forests for a number of years now, through the PAGEF project, which has enabled forest management strategies to be developed; the FLEGT project, which seeks to improve the certification and traceability of forest logging; and the PPNC project (in its start-up phase), which is intended to help preserve the North Congolese biodiversity.

Alongside this, AFD is working with the government to increase agriculture’s share of the economy. It has, since 2017, been supporting a project aimed at promoting a competitive, sustainable and entrepreneurial approach to agriculture and a revival of competitive cocoa production.

The C2D

Port, Congo

The C2D

Congo reached completion point under the enhanced “Heavily Indebted Poor Countries” Initiative in January 2010. This has enabled the Paris Club to grant multilateral debt relief to the country. In addition, the French state also agreed a Debt Reduction/Development Contract (C2D) for an amount of 229 million euros. 

The first two C2D contracts between France and Congo - for 80 million and 149 million euros respectively - were signed in September 2010 and December 2014. The funds are distributed between a number of different areas:

  • 149 million euros (65%) goes to four infrastructure (transport, sanitation and energy) projects: development of the Coastal Road and the Bacongo and Makelekele districts; rainwater drainage and waste management in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire; and partial financing of the SNE recovery plan.
  • 52 million euros (23%) is devoted to the social sectors (health, social protection and vocational training) for the water network rehabilitation project at Brazzaville University Hospital, social protection projects, vocational training projects and support for higher education.
  • Agroforestry receives 14 million euros (6%) to support sustainable forest management (PPFNC) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.
  • Feasibility studies and capacity building accounts for 11 million euros (5%) for two Study and Capacity Building Funds (FERC).
million euros committed over the 2010-2017 period
Brazzaville citizens benefiting from improved access to drinking water
households benefiting from health cover through the Lisungi project

Classified as a lower-middle income country, the Republic of Congo faces numerous challenges to its social and economic development. These challenges include an undiversified and volatile economy, insufficient infrastructure, very poor social indicators, a lack of resource development, and a need for capacity building. 

According to the 2012-2016 National Development Plan, Congo’s interventions revolve around eight priorities: improving governance, diversifying the economy, strengthening the private sector and competitiveness, improving infrastructure, fostering education and training, promoting job creation, encouraging social development and inclusion, and ensuring balanced and sustainable development.

AFD has been a major partner of Congo since 1960 and is helping to implement these strategic priorities by working primarily in the following three sectors: 

  • Infrastructure (water, energy, transport, sanitation) 
  • Human development (health, social protection, vocational training and higher education) 
  • Sustainable development (forest, environment, agriculture).

AFD is also working with the private sector through bank guarantees that enable SMEs to improve their access to credit. 

With commitments of close to 600 million euros granted over the 2011-2017 period, AFD has become established as one of Congo’s closest partners.

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