PR05/2011 February 23, 2011, Vienna, Austria
The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and four African countries (Ethiopia, the Gambia, Niger and Sierra Leone) today signed loan agreements totalling to US$62.4 million to finance projects in key development sectors - energy, education, transport, water and agriculture. Ethiopia will receive US$20 million to pursue an "Energy Access Project"; while the Gambia obtains US$5 million for a "University of the Gambia Project"; Niger, two loans for US$18.36 million for a "Road Rehabilitation Project" and a "Rural Development Programme"; and Sierra Leone, US$19 million for a "Water Supply and Sanitation Project".
More than 105 million people live in these four countries where the projects are expected to benefit a broad sweep of people.
All five projects will be co-financed by the concerned governments and a number of international institutions, including the African Development Bank, the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, the International Development Association, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and Banque ouest-africaine de développement.
At today's signature ceremony, OFID Director-General, Mr. Suleiman J. Al-Herbish pledged that OFID's support to Africa "will continue to grow, in view of the needs of the continent." He disclosed that in 2010, OFID's financial assistance to Africa amounted to US$737 million or 54% of the institution's total commitments."
OFID's primary aim is to contribute to the socio-economic advancement of developing countries. OFID is present in almost all sectors of development and is effectively contributing to global efforts toward meeting the MDGs and the "missing 9th goal" which is the eradication of energy poverty, a key pillar for sustainable socio-economic growth and poverty reduction.
Since its inception, OFID has committed more than US$13 billion in support of sustainable development. For more information please visit:http://www.ofid.org.