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Abu Dhabi spending billions in Mali

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, will provide AED1 billion to support the balance of payments and national housing project in Mali.

ADFD has signed two agreements with the Government of Mali. These include an AED918 million (US$250 million) concessionary loan to support the balance of payments in the country as well as an additional concessionary loan of AED110 million (US$30 million) to finance the implementation of phase two of Mali’s National Social Housing Programme.

Designed to improve liquidity and stimulate economic growth, the balance of payments support will also help in driving the Malian government’s socio-economic development goals. In April 2018, ADFD extended AED110 million (US$30 million) for phase one of the same national housing project.

In a bid to meet the surging housing demand in Mali and improve the overall standard of living and well-being of the Malian people, the social housing programme aims to modernise civil and housing services in the country as part of the government’s efforts to achieve sustainable development.

Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD and Dr. Boubou Cisse, Malian Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance, signed the loan agreements in a ceremony held at the ADFD headquarters in Abu Dhabi.

Boukary Sidibe, Ambassador of Mali to the UAE, and various senior representatives from the two sides attended the signing ceremony.

Commenting on the signing, Al Suwaidi said, “The UAE and Mali have continued to enjoy strong and long-standing bilateral relations. Spanning more than four decades of joint and constructive cooperation, the strategic ties between ADFD and Mali have helped achieve sustainable economic development in the West African nation.”

“As part of our efforts to assist developing countries in addressing their economic challenges, ADFD’s US$250 million to support the balance of payments will aid the Malian government in achieving their outlined priorities across key sectors,” he noted, adding that the Fund’s interest in the housing sector reflects its keenness in supporting global efforts to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, particularly in terms of infrastructure improvement and the provision of adequate housing to ensure elevated living conditions.

“ADFD’s additional loan to Mali will directly contribute to achieving Goal 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities – that aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable,” he continued.

For his part, Dr. Boubou Cisse commended the brotherly relations Mali enjoys with the UAE, and pointed out that ADFD has been a strategic partner in driving sustainable development in his country. He noted that the balance of payments support will help strengthen the economy whereas the housing programme will cater to the increasing demand for residential units as a result of the population growth in Mali over the years.

Mali’s National Social Housing Programme mandates the construction of 50,000 housing units across all the major cities and regions of the country, including Kayes, Koulikoro, Bamako, Sikasso, Segou, Timbuktu, Gao, Kidal, Menaka and Taoudenni.

As part of the scheme, the Malian Housing Office delivered 9,521 residential units between 2002 and 2015. In view of the growing demand, the government decided in 2006 to implement the scheme through public-private partnerships, in addition to direct government funding.

Since 1976, ADFD has provided AED404 million in loans and grants to government of Mali for eight vital projects in key economic sectors.

Source: WAM

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