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- OFID signs loan agreements to help strengthen key sectors in three African countries and grant agreement with RCREEE
OFID signs loan agreements to help strengthen key sectors in three African countries and grant agreement with RCREEE
November 10, 2016, Vienna, Austria. The Director-General of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) Suleiman J Al-Herbish has signed three public sector loan agreements with partner countries Benin, Ethiopia and Mali in support of their socioeconomic development. The Director-General also signed a grant agreement with Dr Ahmed Badr, Executive Director of the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE), in support of the Arab Program for Sustainable Energy Youth (APSEY).
During the signing ceremony, Al-Herbish spoke of the longstanding cooperation OFID has had with all three countries, which dates back to the institution’s inception in 1976. He pointed out to the beneficiary countries’ representatives that OFID had approved over US$6.3bn in public sector development funding to help enhance key sectors in the Africa region. Al-Herbish said that OFID looked forward to strengthening its cooperation with the concerned governments in areas they deemed high priority.
The US$20m loan agreement with Ethiopia will co-finance the Hamusit-Estie Road Upgrading Project, which aims at improving connections along this 77km-long stretch in the South Gondor Zone, a key agricultural production area. This is expected to enhance farmers’ access to markets, reduce travel costs and time and enable the 500,000-strong population to reach social services more efficiently. The agreement was countersigned by HE Negash Kebret, Ambassador of Ethiopia to Switzerland.
Co-signing a US$12m loan agreement to Benin was HE Eloi Laourou, Ambassador of Benin to Switzerland, in support of the Horticulture Development Support Project, which OFID is co-financing in partnership with International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). This project will help small-scale vegetable farmers adopt more efficient technologies in producing, processing and storing their produce. Works will include constructing and rehabilitating related infrastructure, such as produce collection centers, small processing plants, storage facilities and access roads, among others, benefiting around 120,000 people.
OFID’s US$10.4m loan to Mali will co-finance, along with the Islamic Development Bank, the Saudi Fund for Development and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, upgrading of the 188 km-long Kwala–Mourdiah–Nara Road. This stretch serves 24 villages where key economic activities include agriculture and animal husbandry. At least 16,000 inhabitants will benefit from improved links to marketplaces and social services, as well as job opportunities. The agreement was countersigned by HE Toumani Djimé Diallo, Ambassador of Mali to Germany.
The US$150,000 grant to RCREEE will support APSEY— a regional sustainable energy internship program aimed at boosting technical and operational capacities of youth interested in the renewable energy and energy efficiency fields. The grant will specifically support the participation of 12 interns from Yemen, Sudan, Palestine, Djibouti, Mauritania, Somalia and Syria for a two-year period, starting from November 2016 to November 2018.