Kuwait to grant Africa $1bn in development loans
Kuwait, November 19, 2013
Kuwait will give $1 billion in soft loans to African countries over the next five years, the ruler of the Gulf Arab state said on Tuesday.
The funds will be granted through the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah told the opening session of a joint Arab-African summit in Kuwait city.
"I have instructed the officials in the fund to provide loans with easy terms to the African countries worth $1 billion over the next five years, let alone the investments of a number of Kuwait companies in several sectors," he said.
The loans would come on top of investments by Kuwaiti companies in a number of sectors, he said.
The Amir also announced the creation of an annual prize worth $1 million in the name of late philanthropist Dr Abdulrahman Al-Sumait, focusing on development research in Africa.
The announcements came amid discussion to create the world's newest free trade zone - between the Middle East and Africa - which would fuel economic development through lowering barriers to international business.
The Amir also said that Kuwait, in coordination with the World Bank and other international institutions, aimed to "invest and guarantee the investment of a billion dollars over the next years to African countries, with a focus on the infrastructure sector".
The summit is taking place on 19-20 November in Kuwait.
Africa has two special attractions for the arid desert countries of the Gulf: it is a source of food and arable land, and it is launching an infrastructure building boom that recalls the Gulf's own construction spree of the past decade. – TradeArabia News Service & Reuters