Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the leading national entity for international economic development aid, 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.
His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD and His Excellency 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. His Excellency Boukary Sidibe, Malian Ambassador to the UAE, and various senior representatives from the two sides attended the signing ceremony.
His Excellency Mohammed Saif 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.”
Al Suwaidi added: “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. Moreover, 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’.”
For his part, His Excellency 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 further 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, Ségou, Timbuktu, Gao, Kidal, Ménaka 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.
Abu Dhabi Fund for Development enjoys long-standing and close ties with the Government of Mali dating back to 1976. Since then, the Fund has provided loans and grants amounting to AED404 million, allocated to financing eight vital projects in key economic sectors.
Source: APCO Worldwide