21 October 2013 – In mid-October 2013, president of France, Francois Hollande, met with South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma, as well as ministers from both countries and people from industry, to discuss and promote bilateral relationships between the two countries.

This included an agreement signed between Agence Française de Developpement (AFD) and the South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) by Sanedi CEO Kadri Nassiep and AFD deputy CEO Jacques Moineville.

The AFD, a French public entity, is a bilateral development finance institution, acting on behalf of the French government. It is proposing a soft-credit facility to finance sustainable energy initiatives in South Africa, to alleviate the current energy situation and deal with future supply concerns. The AFD credit line will finance small and medium-sized investments in energy efficiency and renewables made by private South African companies in the industrial and commercial sectors, through three participating banks, namely ABSA, IDC and Nedbank.

The AFD also reached an agreement with Eskom which saw the signing of a R1.3 billion (€100 million) credit facility agreement that will go towards financing Eskom’s 100 MW concentrating solar power (CSP) plant near Upington. Eskom CEO Brian Dames says, “The leveraging of finance from institutions like AFD will contribute to the country’s low carbon trajectory.”

The AFD is co-financing the CSP plant together with the African Development Bank, Clean Technology Fund (CTF), European Investment Bank (EIB), KfW (a public law institution existing under the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany) and the World Bank.

In 2011 Eskom and AFD signed a €100 million loan facility for the financing of the Sere wind farm near Vredendal in the Western Cape.