By Asmau Ahmad
The African Development Bank (AfDB), said that it had successfully discussed strategic opportunities that would strengthen economic ties between the United Arab Emirate (UAE), the Bank and Africa.
The Bank, in a statement issued on Friday, said that it was part of the outcome of AfDB President’s visit to the UAE on Friday.
According to the statement, the three-day visit covered engagements in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
It said that the visit which took place alongside the World Government Summit and the closing days of Expo 2020 Dubai, explored potential partnerships for strategic investment in Africa.
“Particularly between the AfDB Group and the UAE, in renewable energy, agriculture and food production.
“His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Dubai’s Deputy Ruler, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE and the AfDB chief discussed strategic opportunities that would strengthen economic ties between the UAE, the Bank, and Africa.
Lauding UAE’s exceptionally visionary leadership, Adesina said, `there is a lot that Africa can draw from UAE’s remarkable success.
“What the UAE has done, using its resources, its drive and determination to develop the country into what it is today is highly impressive.
“We are keen to see the UAE become an even more valued and significant investment partner in Africa.
“The UAE has been a highly valued participant in the African Development Fund, our Bank Group’s concessionary lending arm supporting low-income countries since 1978.
“Hopefully, we may at some point be able to welcome the UAE as a member of the AfDB,” Adesina said.
The statement said that Adesina also held a raft of bilateral meetings with other senior members of government and heads of UAE parastatal companies.
“This includes discussions with the Minister of State for International Cooperation, Reem Al Hashimy, who is also the Managing Director of Expo 2020 Dubai.
“And the Minister of State for African Affairs, Sheikh Shakhbout bin Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan.
“Receiving the AfDB boss, the Minister of State in charge of African Affairs, Sheikh Shakhbout, expressed UAE’s desire to help African countries diversify their economies.”
He said it would extend to providing value-added support for small and medium-sized enterprises.
“And to explore potential social housing investment opportunities and connect young African fintech companies to innovations that would allow them to grow and thrive on the continent,’’ he said.
The AfDB president and the Director-General of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Mohammed Al Suwaidi, also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for closer collaboration, on behalf of their respective institutions.
Suwaidi said, “we consider the AfDB to be the continent’s Think Tank. We believe that Africa is the world’s next growth frontier and we don’t want to miss that.”