Khalifa Fund signs USD 25 million agreement to support Nigerien SMEs
His Excellency Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Niger, recently met with H.E. Hussain Jasim Al Nowais, Chairman of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development in the Capital Niamey and lauded the growing relations and strong cooperation with the United Arab Emirates in various fields.
The President also extended his thanks and appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for his keenness to support the cooperation between both countries.
During the visit, H.E. Al Nowais, and H.E Saadou Sidou, Nigerien Minister of Trade and Private Sector Development, signed a USD 25 million (AED 92 million) agreement aimed at providing support for micro, small- and medium-sized enterprises in Niger, where the amount will be distributed in equal instalments.
The Nigerien President said that the agreement will positively impact his government’s sustainable development and economic diversification, which are vital to the country’s economic stability.
On behalf of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, H.E. Al Nowais wished continued progress and prosperity for Niger and its people. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan had assigned Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development to establish a similar programs to support entrepreneurship with an aim to develop small and medium enterprises in other parts of the world, including Niger.
H.E. Al Nowais further stated that the agreement will help Niger in its economic development efforts towards promoting a culture of entrepreneurship and supporting SME. He stressed that the agreement will provide creative and innovative young people in Niger with an opportunity to use their skills and talents to improve their lives and contribute to the country’s economic growth.
H.E. Al Nowais explained that Khalifa Fund has been successfully providing various forms of support to different countries under the directives and guidance of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of UAE, and H.H. Sheikh Mohmmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Meanwhile, H.E. Sidou praised the support that the UAE has been providing to various segments of Niger’s society and the friendly relations between the two countries. H.E Sidou emphasized on the positive impact of such major agreements on his country’s development that lead to key projects and generate new jobs for Niger’s citizens, thereby helping achieve comprehensive growth for the country and reduce poverty.
The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, which was established in 2007 in Abu Dhabi, has become one of the leading institutions aimed at instilling a culture of entrepreneurship and supporting SMEs in the UAE. The fund has financed more than 1,400 projects within the country. Its successful experience has been transferred to Egypt, Chechnya, Jordan and, Republic of Belarus, Mali and Mauritania through pioneering financing and technical support programs directed towards strengthening government efforts in these countries to achieve sustainable development and build a diversified and stable economy.