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Show of support for sub-Saharan Africa
OPEC Fund and BADEA sign agreement to boost cooperation
OPEC Fund Director-General Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa (left) with BADEA Director-General Dr Sidi Ould Tah.
Khartoum, the Sudan. The OPEC Fund for International Development and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) have signed a new agreement to strengthen cooperation in common partner countries.
Neither organization is new to working together. During the past four decades, the OPEC Fund and BADEA have collaborated on 240 development operations in sub-Saharan Africa. The two institutions have between them contributed roughly equally to total development financing of around US$4.3 billion. These operations have supported many sectors and countries. Recent success in the health and education sectors in Burkina Faso, for example, was highlighted in the previous edition of the OPEC Fund Quarterly magazine in the article: Building Burkina Faso.
There is far more work to be done, of course. Home to 1.2 billion people, sub-Saharan Africa offers huge development opportunities. Recent slower-than-expected overall growth reflects ongoing global unpredictability, inflation, deficits, political and regulatory uncertainty, and fragility. But this slow pace also masks stronger performance in several smaller economies that continue to grow.
Africa remains at the heart of the OPEC Fund’s work. On a recent mission to Khartoum, Sudan, the OPEC Fund’s Director-General Dr Alkhalifa met with his BADEA counterpart Director-General Dr Sidi Ould Tah to discuss reinforcing the two institutions’ partnership. The talks culminated in the signing of the Cooperation Framework Agreement defining the guiding principles of more effective cooperation across common partner countries. The OPEC Fund and BADEA are eyeing even more public and private sector development opportunities in the region.
The two director-generals met to sign the agreements on the sidelines of the 85th Meeting of the Coordination Group* Heads of Operations – another important driver of development cooperation, established to optimize the application of resources and the giving of aid by the various Arab development funds. The Group also aims to establish clear links to promote development assistance and economic relations in recipient countries, and to make the process easier for finance recipients by establishing common procedures.
The meeting included discussions about the Arab Development Portal – a Coordination Group initiative in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to provide up-to-date development-related data and statistics concerning the Arab world (see OPEC Fund Quarterly article Better data in the Arab World for more information). Cooperation with the World Bank and the OECD / DAC (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Development Assistance Committee) – a forum to discuss issues surrounding aid, development and poverty reduction in developing countries – was also covered.
In addition to the Director-General, the OPEC Fund’s delegation included Assistant Director General Fuad Albassam, Advisor Dr Sami Ben Daamech, Africa Region Director Belkacam Ouzrourou and Public Sector Officer Musab Alomar.
* The Coordination Group of the Arab National and Regional Developmental Institutions, the Islamic Development Bank, and the OPEC Fund for International Development. The Group comprises: the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the Arab Gulf Programme for Development, the Arab Monetary Fund, the Islamic Development Bank, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, the OPEC Fund for International Development, the Qatar Development Fund and the Saudi Fund for Development.