Abu Dhabi Development Fund financed projects worth $202m in 2021

Government entity's finances, investments and bank deposits stood at $42.7bn as of December

The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development provided soft loans for projects in Rwanda, Turkmenistan, the Maldives, Lesotho and Guinea-Conakry last year. Photo: ADFD
Powered by automated translation

The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) financed 10 key development projects worth Dh743.9 million ($202.55m) in 2021 as part of its efforts to support new programmes in developing countries, despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The fund, owned by the Abu Dhabi government, provided six soft loans worth Dh642.5m in total to five projects in Rwanda, Turkmenistan, the Maldives, Lesotho and Guinea-Conakry last year, it said in its annual report on Thursday.

The fund also allocated Dh101.4m in government grants to develop four projects in the Comoros, Ethiopia, Uzbekistan and Mauritania during the period.

The ADFD was set up in 1971 with the aim of helping developing countries through the provision of concessionary loans for development projects to strengthen their economies, as well as making long-term investments and direct contributions.

Overall, the fund’s total loans, grants, investments and deposits at central banks to shore up foreign reserves in developing economies stood at Dh156.9 billion by the end of last year.

“The various strategic projects ADFD financed and programmes it launched in partnership with governments, national institutions and regional funds contributed to the realisation of sustainable development goals for 103 countries, improvement of the quality of life, and achievement of the objectives of the 2030 development plan,” said Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Presidential Court and chairman of the ADFD.

“The fund actively pursued the UAE’s policy of economic diversification through a strategic partnership with the private sector and enhanced the global competitiveness of national exports.”

The fund's projects — which are expected to help countries to “advance their economies and raise the quality of life” — are in various sectors such as infrastructure, transport, housing, agriculture and water, industry, renewable energy, education, health and tourism, the report said.

The fund is also supporting the development of the private sector in the UAE and has allocated Dh3bn for the 2021-2025 period to provide financing for projects that have a “tangible impact on the economy”, the report said.

The UAE, the Arab world's second-largest economy, is seeking to diversify its economy away from oil and has unveiled a number of new initiatives to support other sectors.

Last year, the UAE launched the Operation 300bn strategy to increase the industrial sector's contribution to the country's gross domestic product to Dh300bn by 2031, from Dh133bn in 2021.

Abu Dhabi also recently unveiled a new industrial strategy that aims to more than double the size of the emirate’s manufacturing sector to Dh172bn by 2031.

The Abu Dhabi Exports Office, the export-financing arm of the ADFD, is also working to support Emirati companies and help them to expand their businesses in international markets.

“Over five decades, the fund has made great strides in fulfilling its developmental mandate,” said Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation and vice chairman of the ADFD.

“The fund’s flexible strategies and proactive initiatives have also contributed significantly to the diversification and competitiveness of the national economy.”

ADFD’s total investments in 22 countries since its inception stood at Dh11bn while bank deposits at central banks hit Dh41bn in 2021, it said.

The total value of loans and government grants disbursed by the fund stood at Dh52bn and Dh52.9bn, respectively, by the end of 2021.

“The fund created opportunities for national companies by enabling them to develop and implement projects in beneficiary countries,” ADFD director general Mohamed Al Suwaidi said.

Updated: September 08, 2022, 12:56 PM