|16 July, 2019

Khalifa Fund, Ethiopian Ministry of Finance sign agreement to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in Ethiopia

Also present during the signing were Ali Saad Al Omaira, Acting Charge d'Affaires at the UAE Embassy in Ethiopia and a number of officials from both countries

Khalifa Fund, Ethiopian Ministry of Finance sign agreement to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa: The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED) has revealed the signing of a strategic partnership agreement with the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance aimed at providing over USD 100 million (AED 368 million) to help promote a culture of innovation and finance prominent projects in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The new agreement, which was signed by H.E. Hussain Jasim Al Nowais, Chairman, KFED and H.E. Admasu Nebebe, Ethiopian Minister of Finance, follows the directives issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, in the presence of H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Also present during the signing were H.E. Ali Saad Al Omaira, Acting Charge d'Affaires at the UAE Embassy in Ethiopia and a number of officials from both countries.

Al Nowais stated, “The signing of this agreement with Ethiopia falls in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, to strengthen cooperation and maintain friendly and strategic partnerships with various countries around the world. It also complements the directives issued by H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to continuously maintain strong ties with brotherly and friendly countries while also helping them in promoting their economies, which in turn can drive in key growth for the benefit and wellbeing of their people.”

He shared that the UAE has maintained strong ties with the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, which is evident in the overwhelming response received by H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin

Zayed Al Nahyan's visit to Addis Ababa last year and the successful visit of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali to Abu Dhabi during the same period.

Al Nowais revealed that the new agreement will help pave the way in enhancing innovation and supporting the culture of entrepreneurship in Ethiopia. In fact, the funding to be received as part of the agreement will enable the implementation of a series of promising projects that are aimed at consolidating the Ethiopian government's efforts to create a stable and balanced economy while also driving in other benefits like the creation of employment opportunities for the youth, women empowerment and enhanced capacity building for entrepreneurs and local institutions.

“Under this agreement, the KFED looks towards providing the vital elements needed in helping Ethiopians realize and establish their own projects which can play a key role in the move to reinforce their national economy. We also look forward to helping them in promoting sustainable development across the different regions of the country. Rest assured that the Fund remains steadfast in its commitment to provide the necessary technical support in the implementation of plans and strategies that serve their set goals and objectives of development,” concluded Al Nowais.

In response, H.E. Admasu Nebebe, Ethiopian Minister of Finance, lauded the KFED for their continuing support and commitment to Ethiopia, especially across various priority sectors that play a key role in the country's move towards economic development. He expressed confidence in the newly signed agreement as an important step towards further cooperation with the UAE through the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, which is one of the leading regional and Arab institutions that promotes a culture of entrepreneurship for the SME sector.

The Minister shared that the allotted USD 100 million will be supervised and maintained by the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, in cooperation with KFED. The proposed fund is expected to play a significant role in reinforcing the Ethiopian government's move to create economic entities that will be capable of supporting and enhancing the stability of the economy, including the creation of jobs and reducing unemployment and poverty in different cities and regions in Ethiopia.

The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, which was established 12 years ago in Abu Dhabi, has become one of the leading institutions that promotes an entrepreneurial culture and supports small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UAE. It has funded more than 1,600 projects within the UAE and delivered its successful experience to more than 20 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe through pioneering funding programs.

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