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Our setup

CFI is a French public agency operating under the umbrella of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and is a subsidiary of the group France Médias Monde. It is chaired by Thierry Vallat.
It initiates, supports and finances media projects and helps to foster a global community committed to free, independent information.


The French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, main funder

CFI is a public operator primarily funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE), as part of France's cooperative development policy.

The broad direction and priorities of the mission entrusted to CFI are guided by an annual agreement signed with the MEAE. 

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The two other main sources of funding received by the agency are currently the European Union (directly or via Expertise France) and the French Development Agency (AFD).

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€ 19,3 million
CFI's annual budget in 2022

A subsidiary of the France Médias Monde group 

CFI is a société anonyme (public limited company) and has been a subsidiary of the France Médias Monde (FMM) group, which is in charge of French international broadcasting, since 2017.

The France Médias Monde group includes the trilingual 24-hour news channel, France 24, the international radio station, RFI, and the Arabic-language radio station, Monte Carlo Doualiya (MCD).

Being part of this group has made it possible to set up an international media expertise hub capable of mobilising specialist skills across all of the topics covered by CFI. 

Its leaders

Thierry Vallat has held the position of Chair and Managing Director of CFI since 2020.

Portrait de Thierry Vallat

A career diplomat and former member of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Thierry Vallat has long been interested in issues surrounding media development and the role they play in strengthening democratic values. 

"We do not seek to antagonise. Quite the opposite in fact: we seek to appease and even to demonstrate to the authorities the value of allowing the media greater freedom with intelligent regulation. We aim to be pragmatic and to encourage dialogue."

CFI's Board of Directors is made up of representatives of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and France Médias Monde. 

The following represent the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE): 

The following represent France Médias Monde: 

  • Thierry Delphin, Director of Finance and Administration 

    Jean-Marc Four, Director of RFI

  • Souad el Tayeb, Director of Monte Carlo Doualiya

  • Serge Schick, Director of Development and Own Resources at FMM

  • Vanessa Burggraf, Director of news channel France 24

Unlike the MEAE, France Médias Monde does not contribute to CFI funding. 

On behalf of Agence Française de Développement (AFD):

  • Mathilde Schneider, Director of Communications (AFD)

Our team

CFI's 65 in-house members of staff are split into four divisions: two regional divisions (Africa and Mediterranean-Asia), an general Secretariat and a Communications and Digital Division. 

The agency has several offices abroad: in Tunis (Tunisia), Amman (Jordan), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Niamey (Niger) and Bucharest (Romania). We also have local coordinators in several of the countries we conduct projects in.

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Discover the agency's organisational chart (PDF) (in French)

Work with us

Our work 

CFI supports the media and civil society via training, strategy consulting, experience sharing, networking and funding projects. The agency also manages an international community of independent media outlets, bloggers, activists and influencers.

Programmes are planned over the long term, affording plenty of opportunity to foster special ties with local partners. Each project lasts one to three years. They are designed by CFI staff alongside their partners, the expert network and the beneficiary people and media outlets.

CFI Project cycle



Each year, some forty projects are implemented in almost 35 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the Arab world, Asia and the countries neighbouring the European Union. 

All of our projects around the world

Our impact 

It is essential for CFI to be able to assess the impact of projects in human, economic, social and societal terms. In 2021, the agency thus added a new procedure to its quality process in order to measure the impact of its projects. 

Several years after winding a project up, independent experts analyse outcomes for the beneficiaries of the initiative, their immediate environment and society in general.  

Giving a voice to those who go unheard