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DEVELOPMENT NEWS


STRONGER SMALLHOLDER FARMERS IN MALAWI


The OPEC Fund has signed a US$20 million development loan agreement with Malawi to improve the livelihoods of around 1.3 million people living in rural areas. The financing will support


US$20M BOOST FOR SMES IN EAST AFRICA


T


he OPEC Fund has signed a US$20 million term loan in favor of the East


African Development Bank (EADB). EADB will use the loan to support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and infrastructure projects in East Africa. EADB is an important regional


institution for delivering key development objectives across the East Africa region. It enjoys a high level of commitment from member states Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda, as well a diverse shareholder base that includes multilateral and bilateral development institutions and international financial institutions. SMEs account for more than half of


EADB’s portfolio. They play an important part in development, driving economic growth and employment opportunities in East Africa and in developing countries more generally. The bank is expanding its resource mobilization activities to meet the growing financing needs of SMEs. “We are very pleased to support


private sector development in East Africa, which goes to the core of our mandate,” said OPEC Fund Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa. “We have partnered with EADB since 2001 and we appreciate the opportunity to strengthen


our relationship. SMEs are critical to achieving progress toward Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 on decent work and economic growth. Efficient infrastructure, as part of SDG 9, improves access to social services, reduces business and production costs, supports trade, and will ultimately provide East Africa with a more competitive business environment.” Vivienne Yeda, Director-General of EADB, said: “We are pleased to receive a line of credit of US$20 million from the OPEC Fund dedicated to financing SMEs and infrastructure projects in EADB member countries. We appreciate the confidence placed in the EADB by the OPEC Fund. By financing SMEs, we expect to promote enterprises that generate employment opportunities, socio-economic development and consequently promote regional integration. The SME sector is a critical pillar for sustainable economic growth as it is the backbone of the EADB member countries’ economies.” This is the third loan the OPEC Fund


has provided to EADB in support of SMEs. In 2001, the organization approved US$10 million, followed by a further US$15 million in 2013.


the ‘Transforming Agriculture through Diversification and Entrepreneurship’ project, aligning with Sustainable Development Goal 2 on food security, improved nutrition and sustainable agriculture. The objective is to strengthen value chains and improve the resilience and capacity of Malawi’s smallholder farmers and rural organizations. The project will provide better infrastructure (including new roads) and access to rural financial schemes, as well as enhanced partnerships with the private sector and inclusive


business development services. Climate smart interventions will help combat land degradation and improve agricultural productivity. The project is in line with


Malawi’s National Agriculture Policy (NAP), which intends to achieve sustainable agricultural transformation to drive growth in the agricultural sector, expanding incomes for farm households, improving food and nutrition security for all Malawians, and boosting agricultural exports.


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PHOTO: Sarine Arslanian/Shutterstock.com


PHOTO: Diana Sahin/Shutterstock.com


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