Friday 23 April 2021 - 3:48:40 am

OFID supports post-COVID-19 African infrastructure with US$50 million loan

VIENNA, 28th January, 2021 (WAM) -- The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) have signed a US$50 million loan agreement to help finance and build infrastructure needed for Africa’s post-COVID recovery. This represents the first direct financing co-operation between the two institutions.

The proceeds of the 10-year loan to AFC will help address the continent’s well-known infrastructure financing gap. The loan will also support increased financial flows to Africa and contribute to COVID-19 recovery efforts in African economies by freeing up government funds to meet urgent financing needs related to the pandemic.

AFC President and CEO, Samaila Zubairu, said, "AFC has been engaging development partners worldwide to find ways that we can act in concert to mobilise the funds necessary for Africa’s post-pandemic recovery and optimise efficient deployment. This loan is in line with AFC’s effort to support the development-vital infrastructure, from energy to transport and commerce, and to return Africa back to the path of sustainable growth and development."

In turn, OPEC Fund Director-General, Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, stated, "Africa’s urgent infrastructure financing needs have become even more pronounced since the onset of COVID-19. The pandemic has hampered economic growth and investment across the continent. Our support to AFC will help provide sustainable financing for infrastructure development to improve connectivity, transport, logistics, trade and the creation of jobs."

AFC is a financial institution with 28 member countries, established to provide financing and private sector-driven solutions for infrastructure, natural resources and industrial projects across Africa. To date, AFC has invested over US$8.4 billion in projects within 35 African countries. The OPEC Fund signed a cooperation agreement with AFC in 2017 and this loan marks the beginning of collaboration on the ground.

OFID was established in January 1976 by the then 13 member countries of OPEC; including the United Arab Emirates. It is the development finance institution established as a channel of aid to developing countries.

WAM/Rola Alghoul/Rasha Abubaker