The Director-General OPEC Fund for international development (OFID), Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, has signed a public sector loan agreement totalling US$85 million with 4 African beneficiary countries. 

This public sector loan agreement was signed between Alkhalifa and representative sector Ministers from the beneficiary countries at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the World Bank Group / International Monetary Fund (WBG / IMF) in Washington, DC, USA.

The beneficiary countries comprising of Benin, Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone acquired these loans in line with OPEC Fund’s goal-to support low-income countries around the globe. 

With the aim to further reduce poverty, boost prosperity and promote socio-economic progress in Africa, the $85 million public sector loan agreement was signed by the 4 African beneficiaries in the following structure. 

Sierra Leone 

Jacob Jusu Saffa, Minister of Finance, signed the agreement of $20m to support the educational sector. This loan will help to reconstruct and rehabilitate four public secondary schools, a teacher training college and a polytechnic to ease rising enrolments rates.

Benin

The Minister of Economy and Finance, Romuald Wadagni, signed a $10 million agreement for agricultural development and market access support. This loan seeks to boost food security, nutrition and incomes of smallholder farmers and their families, especially women and youth, in seven administrative regions.

Senegal 

Amadou Hott, Minister of Economy, Planning and Cooperation signed two agreements. The first loan of $10m is to support the Agricultural Development and Rural Entrepreneurship Program (Phase II ). While the second loan of $20m is to support the Development of Agricultural Production Areas (PDZP/PNDL).

Liberia

The Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel D Tweah, signed an agreement of $25m to upgrade the Konia- Voinjama road. This loan will aid the transportation of agricultural goods on the 64 km road in northern Liberia, increase food security as well as income. 

The OPEC Fund (OFID)is an intergovernmental development finance institution established by the Member States of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 1976. With the aim to strengthen developing nations outside its membership, OPEC has helped several countries around the world since its inception.

OFID derives its resources from voluntary contributions made by OPEC Member Countries, agreements with the World Bank Group, regional banks, the accumulated reserves derived from its various operations amongst others. 

By Treasure Nnabugwu.

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