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.