FIFA and the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement, AFD) have signed a landmark agreement to promote women's football and develop school football in Africa.
The strategic alliance, signed three days before the FIFA Women’s World Cup kicked off in France, will see FIFA and AFD use football as a vehicle for education, development and social change.
Signed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino and AFD chief executive Remy Rioux at a special ceremony at the Élysée Palace, the agreement aims to develop collaboration between FIFA and AFD on joint projects in Africa with two main objectives.
These are to promote gender equality and women's empowerment and to use football to advance and improve education.
FIFA and the AFD will combine resources and implement joint programmes to promote football as a sport for all.
Plans also include socio-educational projects and equality in football schemes, as well as investments in local infrastructure.
"Today, another strategic alliance has been forged to help use football as a platform for positive change in society," said FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
This landmark agreement between FIFA and the AFD aims to make a lasting difference to communities around the world, as well as ensure that football continues to play an even more important role in sustainable development, educating and empowering the next generation to help build a fairer, more peaceful society.”
AFD CEO Remy Rioux added: “What better way to build a world in common than by leveraging the unifying power of football? Sport is at the crossroads of all sustainable development goals – including economic growth, women’s empowerment and access to education – yet the worlds of football and development finance have not been linked until now. I'm therefore extremely proud that the AFD and FIFA are today launching a unique partnership to promote gender equality and foster education in Africa through football.
This compelling agreement is already paving the way for inventive solutions on the ground such as “playdagogy” projects designed to ensure that young Africans will not only benefit from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development, but also become key advocates of SDGs."
The AFD is a public financial institution that implements the policy defined by the French Government.
It funds, supports and accelerates "transitions to a fairer and more sustainable world".
Focusing on the climate, biodiversity, peace, education, urban development, health and governance, its teams carry out more than 4,000 projects in France’s overseas departments and territories and 115 other countries.