Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—In comments to Asharq Al-Awasat, a senior executive from the African Development Bank (AfDB) denied the development finance institution would be halting its loans to Egypt.
Reports have been circulating that the Ivory Coast-based AfDB would be pulling its funding from Egypt following the African Union’s decision to revoke the latter’s membership after the ouster of former President Mohamed Mursi last July.
Aly Abou-Sabaa, vice president of the AfDB’s Sector Operation for Governance, Agriculture and Human Development, told Asharq Al-Awsat the institution had no intention of pulling its current funding from Egypt and that it also planned to fund “four new projects” in the near future.
Abou-Sabaa did not specify how much the AfDB would be pumping into Egyptian projects in 2014, maintaining the exact details were still under discussion with the country’s interim government.
The AfDB is one of the institutions currently slated to finance a planned Saudi–Egyptian electricity grid project.
Inaugurated on June 1, 2013—a month before Mursi’s ouster—the joint electricity grid project between Saudi Arabia and Egypt will generate around 3,000 megawatts of power that will be shared between both countries via a 12-mile-long (20 kilometer) underwater cable.
Abou-Sabaa said: “The AfDB has shown interest in funding the . . . electricity grid project should the Egyptian government officially ask us to do so. So far the value of the required funding has not been determined but discussions with [Egypt’s] Ministry of Electricity are underway.”
Both Saudi Arabia and Egypt have promised to put up half of the funding for the 1.6 billion US dollar project. Egypt will use funds from excess loans allocated for electricity to cover part of its share, with the remainder due to come from the AfDB and the Arab Bank for Economic and Social Development, the World Bank and the European Investment Bank.
Saudi Arabia’s share will be entirely self-financed.
Since 1974, the AfDB has funded as many as 100 projects in Egypt amounting to 5.55 billion dollars. Those projects have ranged from infrastructure and energy to the social sector.
The development finance institution provides funding for projects aimed at improving social and economic conditions in African countries.