Editorial by Thierry Vallat, Chairman and Managing Director of CFI

The activity report you are currently reading describes the various media development projects that CFI supported in 2023, more than half of which were carried out in collaboration with France Médias Monde. However, these initiatives were implemented in a context marked by an increase in geopolitical tensions around the world, which required us to pivot our activities more often than ever before.

In Europe, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine has been accompanied by an uptick in misinformation and threats to journalists. In Africa, the recent military coups in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger have forced us to suspend our activities. In Sudan, the civil war has forced us to shift our activities outside the country as we increasingly work with journalists living in exile. In the Near and Middle East, the war between Israel and Hamas and its knock-on effects in the region have seriously disrupted all our projects. 

In all these places, our partners are working harder than ever to combat misinformation and ensure the availability of reliable, high-quality information. Their commitment is a powerful source of respect and motivation among our staff. I would like to recognise their vital efforts here. 

We will continue to support both individual and collective efforts to fight ever on, for as long as we are needed, while ensuring we advance gender equality, respect for the environment and democracy.

Looking to the future: France charts a course for media development

To support the production of high-quality information, strengthen the creation of content on sustainable development, and improve the effectiveness of media development efforts, France has drawn up a Media and Development Roadmap to guide its activities in 2023. This critical document was adopted under the aegis of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs to cover 2023 to 2027 and is the product of a wide-ranging consultation process to which CFI made a significant contribution. It is based on 11 hearings involving nearly 80 experts and has two main objectives: to clarify France’s priority areas for action and improve the coordination of French media development initiatives. Read the Media and Development Roadmap.

Over 300 participants at the Media and Development Forum (Paris) - July 2023
Over 300 participants at the Media and Development Forum (Paris) - July 2023

CFI’s Media and Development Forum: a unique opportunity to come together in France

300 journalists and information activists from 45 countries met in Paris from 11 to 13 July 2023 for an unprecedented event: the CFI Media and Development Forum. This large-scale event – unequalled in France and organized with France Médias Monde – provided an excellent opportunity for participants to discuss the full range of issues facing modern journalism in today’s world. From artificial intelligence and misinformation to the challenges posed by climate change, inequality and how to support journalists in exile, no stone was left unturned. A testament to our shared commitment to excellence in journalism, the Forum also served to consolidate CFI’s links with donors and our international media partners. More than anything it offered an opportunity for journalists and information activists committed to the freedom of information to come together and strengthen the deep ties that bind them across borders and cultural differences.




CFI, an operator of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs


CFI, a part of France Médias Monde