Thierry Paulais

Director of the AFD’s office for French Polynesia

3 published articles

Agence Française de Développement
5, Rue Roland Barthes
75598 Paris Cedex 12

+33 1 53 44 31 31


Thierry Paulais is an urban planner and has a Doctorate in Economics. He began his professional life in different engineering firms. In 1994, he joined the Caisse des dépôts et consignations, as responsible for a team dedicated to financing local governments. In 2000, he joined AFD as head of the Urban Development Department, operating in Southeast Asia, Middle East and most of the countries of the African Continent. He was then seconded to the World Bank, as responsible for a research program concerning local finance in Africa. Back to France, he was nominated Deputy Director of the Africa Department. He is currently director of the AFD’s office for French Polynesia. He authored several books, notably Financing Africa’s Cities, published in English and in French by AFD and the World Bank.

ID4D Articles


Africa’s Cities: Scaling Up the Volume of Investment

The 2009 financial crisis demonstrated how closely local government finances and housing policies are intertwined with the financial systems and the economy as a whole. The ramping up of efforts to combat global warming and the prospects created by the COP 21 preliminary discussions have once again thrust local governments into the spotlight, with their growing responsibilities in the areas of adaptation and mitigation.


Promoting housing policies coordinated with the private sector

To meet the housing challenge, developing countries need to create new housing production models integrated into a sustainable overall urban policy. They need to collaborate with the private sector and support the entire housing sector in an integrated manner to achieve this. Securing land ownership and increasing funding for sector are the key conditions necessary to encourage private stakeholders to produce affordable housing on a massive scale.
Public housing policies in developing countries – often supported by international funding agencies, applying formulas that have worked in the North – are struggling to meet the needs of rapidly growing populations. Housing generally remains accessible only to the better off, while the number of people living in substandard accommodation is growing by 25 million a year. Cities often expand haphazardly, with the majority of people living in informal settlements where sanitation and security are extremely poor.


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