Sarah Pilgrim is the Head of Banking and Financial Sector for Southern Africa at the French Development Agency (AFD). She is leading AFD’s financial innovation strategy for the region centered on blended finance, unfunded guarantees and impact bonds. AFD has been active in South Africa since 1994, offering innovative financing solutions and technical assistance to support the South African government in its development policy. AFD works with government partners and local authorities to promote a low-carbon economy and reduce economic, social and territorial inequalities.
Sarah has been working on development finance and green economy issues for almost ten years and has extensive experience in deal structuring in Sub-Saharan Africa and in the Middle East for commercial clients as well as public sector entities. Her key areas of expertise include transition and climate finance, financial inclusion and SME finance through innovative intermediate financing mechanisms. She holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs and Public Management from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po Paris).