Finance expert takes on French development minister post

Pascal Canfin, the new junior minister for development in France. Photo by: Pietro Naj-Oleari / European Union 2011 PE-EP

France names its first development minister following Francois Hollande’s victory over Nicolas Sarkozy this May: A finance specialist with little development background.

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault appointed Pascal Canfin as junior minister for development, the first person to take the seat under the new title. The position was formerly called junior minister for cooperation, and many see the renaming as a reflection of the new government’s plan of approach to Africa, The Herald Online reports.

The 37-year-old minister, a former journalist, is a member of the Europe Écologie – The Greens party. He is regarded as a finance specialist, having served as member of the Commission on Economic and Monetary Affairs and vice chairman of the Special Committee for the Financial, Economic and Social Crisis, according to SlateAfrique. He was also the author of “What Banks Tell You and Why You Should Almost Never Believe Them.”

Canfin’s resume does not reflect much of a development background, but his negotiating skills could help him in this new position. He was the negotiator of several Greens–European Free Alliance legislative proposals. He also spearheaded calls for the creation of Finance Watch, a nongovernmental organization he refers to as “Greenpeace for Finance,” according to EurActiv.com.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.

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