Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Abiy Ahmad, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, tour the Jubilee Palace in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, was also present. Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has allocated an economic aid package of Dh11 billion ($3 billion) for the Ethiopian government to support sustainable socioeconomic development in that country.

The purpose of the funding from the UAE’s leading national entity for development aid is twofold, said a press release issued on Saturday.

“The ADFD deposited an amount of Dh3.7 billion in the National Bank of Ethiopia to bolster the country’s fiscal and monetary policy, as well as to enhance the liquidity and foreign exchange reserves of its central bank. The remaining Dh7.3 billion seeks to stimulate the Ethiopian economy and encourage joint investments,” it said.

Mohammad Saif Al Suwaidi, director-general of ADFD, and Teklewold Atnafu, governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) outlining the terms of the funding in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.

The signing ceremony was held on the sidelines of the official visit of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to Ethiopia.

Government officials and senior representatives of the two entities also attended the signing ceremony.

Speaking on the occasion, Al Suwaidi said: “Under the wise leadership of UAE President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the directives of Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed, ADFD contributes to the UAE’s efforts to assist developing countries in achieving sustainable development and improving socioeconomic conditions.”

He added: “In addition to helping Ethiopia overcome the challenges it faces, the funding will encourage the UAE private sector to enter the Ethiopian market and benefit from the investment opportunities it offers.”

Furthermore, he noted that the funding will boost the country’s gross national income (GNI) and revitalise key strategic sectors.

Atnafu praised ADFD’s role in the UAE’s ongoing efforts to support Ethiopia’s national priorities. He added that the Ethiopian government welcomes joint investments with the UAE’s investors across diverse fields.

The ADFD’s contribution to the development of Ethiopia dates back to 2012. Since then, the fund has disbursed Dh36.7 million ($10 million) towards financing the Gedo Fincha-Limlem Peria Road project.

The 80km road serves the Oromia region in the west of the Ethiopian highlands, facilitating the movement of vehicles and reducing transportation costs.

Since its inception in 1971, the ADFD has financed development projects valued at Dh80 billion in 88 countries around the world.

The fund focuses on projects that enhance key sectors including renewable energy, transport, infrastructure, agriculture, mining, industry, health care, social services, housing, water and electricity.