ADFD and Gambian President discuss investment opportunities - GulfToday

ADFD and Gambian President discuss investment opportunities


Adama Barrow and Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi during a meeting in Abu Dhabi.

His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the leading national entity for international development aid, met with a high-level Gambian delegation to the UAE, led by His Excellency Adama Barrow, President of The Gambia, to discuss development funding and investment opportunities in the African country.

Delegates included several Gambian ministers and government officials. The meeting also drew the participation of His Excellency Fansu Bojang, Ambassador of The Gambia to the UAE.

In line with the objective of the UAE leadership to build strategic relations with African countries and actively contribute to sustainable development efforts on the continent, the two parties explored opportunities for deeper cooperation.

During the meeting, His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi conveyed the greetings of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of ADFD’s Board of Directors, to the Gambian delegation. Furthermore, he highlighted the strong ties between ADFD and the Gambian government that date back to 1977.

His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi said: “We are keen to boost our relations through supporting The Gambia’s national priority of driving sustainable development in key economic sectors. We look forward to exploring new investment prospects and expanding infrastructure development funding in the country.” He added: “To date, ADFD has financed vital projects in 90 countries with the aim of elevating living standards and helping achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” For his part, His Excellency Adama Barrow thanked the UAE leadership for its support of the Gambian people, praising the distinguished status of the UAE across diverse fields, especially economy. He also commended the role of ADFD in advancing the development process in The Gambia and presented an overview of the available investment opportunities in the country in the agriculture, tourism and transport sectors.

In a report marking its 48th anniversary, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the leading national entity for international development aid, announced that it has allocated about Dhs92 billion in development funding and investments to 90 beneficiary countries.

Since its inception on 15 July 1971, the Fund has disbursed Dhs43 billion in concessionary loans, Dhs46 billion in UAE government grants and Dhs3 billion in investments.

Along with its core operations, ADFD’s innovative partnerships with the private sector and international funding institutions have helped consolidate the UAE’s prominent status among global foreign aid providers. The Fund’s support for socio-economic development in developing countries over the past four and a half decades, especially in the last five years, has significantly contributed to the UAE retaining the prestigious title of the world’s top donor of official development assistance relative to national income between 2013 and 2017. This endorsement was reported by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Focusing on key socio-economic sectors, including health, education, housing, water, irrigation, agriculture and renewable energy, ADFD’s development funding seeks to support the national priorities of beneficiary countries, bolster sustainable economic development, improve standards of living and drive the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Moreover, ADFD holds equity stakes in numerous companies and private equity funds. Serving various key sectors, these investments play a crucial role in driving economic development and job creation in beneficiary countries. To date, the Fund has invested in 13 companies and 4 private equity funds across Africa, Europe, and Asia. ADFD has also adopted a policy of financing UAE private sector investments. To enhance competitiveness and enable investment opportunities, the policy aims to lay the foundations and guidelines for providing funding for national private sector investments in the UAE and abroad.

In addition, ADFD has amended its tendering system to give 10 per cent preference to national companies that pass the technical assessment and financial qualification stage outlined in the Fund’s tender policy for grant projects. Over the last 10 years, its efforts have facilitated business deals worth Dhs16.5 billion for UAE companies to implement ADFD-funded projects in developing countries.