UAE pumps in Dh28b for Sudan's development, fiscal stability


UAE pumps in Dh28b for Sudans development, fiscal stability
A file photo of women wait in line during a UNICEF supported mobile health clinic in Rubkuai village, Unity State, South Sudan.(Reuters)

Published: Wed 14 Mar 2018, 5:19 PM

Last updated: Wed 14 Mar 2018, 7:25 PM

Dubai - The UAE has invested more than Dh28 billion ($7.6 billion) to-date in the development of Sudan with 17 companies currently operating in different sectors in the African country, officials said.
The UAE has injected Dh5.138 billion ($1.4 billion) to Sudan's central bank to help Khartoum tackle an acute foreign exchange crisis.
Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), which supports socio-economic development in Sudan, has pumped in nearly Dh7.3 billion in financing towards development projects in various sectors, as well as investments and deposits.
ADFD said it had injected Dh2 billion in 17 projects for the development of African nation's key sectors such as transportation, energy, water and irrigation. It also distributed about Dh5 billion to support liquidity and foreign currency reserves at the Central Bank of Sudan to stimulate the economy and overcome financial and economic challenges.
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said the fund has contributed to financing development projects that serve the most important economic sectors in Sudan.
Since the commencement of its development activities in Sudan, ADFD has focused on assisting the Sudanese government in its efforts to improve the country's infrastructure - a pillar of socio-economic development, and a fundamental element in the growth and prosperity of various economic sectors.
Apart from supporting Sudan's balance of payments, ADFD has adopted a holistic approach to funding projects that align with its mission to promote sustainable development in brotherly and friendly countries, and elevate standards of living. Examples include dam projects that enhance electricity generation and water supply for irrigation, the Khartoum International Airport project, and the railway network project. 
In addition to ADFD's activities and within the framework of cooperation between the two countries, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company has been providing Sudan with diesel since 2017, meeting the needs of the local market and supporting various sectors including transport and industry. The value of the fuel supplied to-date is estimated at Dh3.2 billion.
With a cumulative value of more than Dh18 billion of diversified investments, the UAE private also plays an active collaboration with its Sudanese counterpart.
Seventeen UAE companies currently invest in Sudan across vital sectors including tourism, agriculture, aviation, and oil and gas. Through supporting the country's agriculture sector, these investments have played a crucial role in increasing the competitiveness of wheat and fodder pricing. 
"President Omar al-Bashir has been informed by the UAE that it is giving Sudan Dh4 billion... as a central bank deposit to help support the country's foreign currency reserves," the official Suna news agency reported.
On Tuesday, the pound traded at 32 to the dollar on the black market, compared with the official rate of 30.
The UAE aid comes just days after SUNA reported that the central bank had agreed to a $2 billion loan from Turkish conglomerate Ozturk to help Sudan purchase petroleum products and wheat. The report did not provide details of the deal.
The weakening of the pound has contributed to surging inflation, which currently is at more than 50 percent.
Since January sporadic protests have erupted in Khartoum and some other parts of the country after the cost of bread soared on the back of rising flour prices.
(With inputs from AFP)

By Waheed Abbas

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