Egypt, AfDB sign two loans and a grant for Sharm el-Sheikh airport development
The African Development Bank (AfDB) and Egypt, on May 29 in Abidjan, signed two loans and a letter of agreement. The two loans are worth US $140 million – US $90 million from the AfDB window and US $50 million loan from the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF). The letter of agreement concerned a grant from the Middle Income Countries (MICs) Technical Assistance Fund of UA 1.2 million (approximately $1.7 million).
AfDB Vice-President in charge of Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Private Sector, Solomon Asamoah, signed for the Bank Group, while Egypt’s International Cooperation Minister, Naglaa A. El-Ehwany signed for her country, in the margins of the AfDB Annual Meetings.
The funds will help the Egyptian Government in its commitments to develop the country’s economy as a whole, particularly the aviation sector, and to transform Sharm el-Sheikh city. More importantly, the project will remove a bottleneck in the movement of travelers, including tourists into and out of the city. It will precisely support economic growth, and generate additional direct job opportunities, and increase of the country’s competitiveness as well.
“This project loan for infrastructure development is a landmark. It represents the signing of the first loan accord with Egypt in over four years. The project will mark the first Bank’s engagement with Egypt in the transport sector, and ultimately, support economic growth in the country’s towns and cities,” said AfDB Vice-President Asamoah.
“We are pleased the project also marks the first operation to be approved with a loan from the AGTF, which we hope will help bridge the infrastructure financial gap in Africa as a whole and Egypt in particular,” the Vice-President added.
The Minister seized the opportunity to express “sincere gratitude” to the AfDB, which she said, “has always been there and very supportive to us.
“With this project, we want to convey a message to the world that Egypt is back. We hope the Bank will continue to encourage more private sector projects in our country” she continued, adding: “The Bank’s engagement with us in the private sector will be of great support.”
Since 1974, the AfDB has supported various economic sectors in Egypt, including the power sector and has significantly contributed towards making the sector more efficient and reliable. The institution has also helped Egypt green its energy sector by supporting two wind and solar energy projects, to ensure sustainable economic development in the country.
Based in Abidjan, AfDB is dedicated to reducing poverty in Africa through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. The Bank has approved 4,185 loans and grants totaling US $107.6 billion to its Regional (African) Member Countries from 1967 to 2014.