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27 February 2020
ECONOMY

Khalifa Fund signs a $100 million agreement supporting SMEs in Ethiopia

The agreement will fund around 37,000 projects and will create over 200,000 jobs

by William Mullally

Following the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development signed an agreement with the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The $100 million (AED 368 million) agreement will support and finance micro, small, and medium-sized projects in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The agreement follows a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the parties in July 2019.

The agreement was signed by His Excellency Hussain Jasim Al Nowais, Chairman of the Khalifa Fund, and His Excellency Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance in Ethiopia. The signing was attended by His Excellency Admasu Nebebe, State Minister at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation of Ethiopia; His Excellency Mohamed Salem Al Rashdi, Ambassador of the UAE to Ethiopia; Mr. Talal Abdulla Al Azeezi, Head of the African Union Section at the UAE Embassy to Ethiopia; alongside a variety of officials from both sides.

The Chairman of the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, H.E. Jasim Al Nowais, commented, “This agreement, which is a continuation of the MoU we signed last July, comes under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to strengthen cooperation, deepen relations, and build strategic partnerships with different countries across the world. Under the terms of this agreement, we hope to help the Ethiopian economy to sustainably grow and benefit the welfare of its citizens.

“This agreement implements a stringent financial and technical framework that creates new employment opportunities, alongside empowering women to grow their role in the Ethiopian economic agenda. The funding shall also be invested in areas with higher indices of poverty to help in their economic development. This loan is expected to finance about 37,000 projects over the next four years and create over 200,000 job opportunities for young people,” added H.E. Al Nowais.

“At least 30 per . cent of the projects which receive this funding will be led by women, whilst the rest of the funding will be equally distributed between male-led and female-led projects. This agreement aims to promote innovation, support entrepreneurship, and empower women, alongside developing Ethiopia’s entrepreneurial sector.

“Additionally, it seeks to create greater job opportunities for Ethiopians, and build local entrepreneurial capability, using specified targeting mechanisms to provide funding to those who need it the most.”

“Khalifa Fund is committed to supporting these projects, and we are seeking to collaborate further to empower young and female entrepreneurs, helping to contribute to the national economy of Ethiopia.”

H.E. Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance in Ethiopia, said, “I commend the efforts of both the UAE and of Khalifa Fund in ensuring the national economic development of Ethiopia, and supporting the growth of both our national entrepreneurial culture, as well as assisting other countries across the globe.

“This agreement not only helps to strengthening Ethiopia’s national economic development, but will also benefit Ethiopian citizens, providing more jobs, more skills, and more specialties, helping those in poverty in Ethiopia,” he concluded.

Established 13 years ago in Abu Dhabi, the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development is a leading institution in its promotion of a culture of entrepreneurship. Khalifa Fund provides comprehensive support to SMEs in the UAE, funding over 1,700 projects nationally. The Fund has expanded its model of entrepreneurial development to over 22 fraternal and friendly countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe through providing bespoke financing programs.


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