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ARAB-AFRICAN COMMITTEE CONVENES IN CAIRO

CAIRO, Egypt, Feb 15- The seventh meeting of the Arab-African partnership coordination committee, convened here on Saturday, at the level of senior officials, under the chairmanship of the State of Kuwait.

The Arab side of the committee comprises Qatar, Kuwait and Egypt, while the African side consists of Zimbabwe, Chad and Mauritania.

Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, Kuwait’s permanent representative, Azeez Al-Daihani said, the conferees had mainly discussed a host of key issues pertinent to Arab-African partnership.

The agenda primarily involves resolutions adopted by the Arab-African Summit, held in Kuwait in Nov 2013, chiefly a brief report on the implementation of initiatives launched by the Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, on investment and development in African countries, he said.

During the meeting, the conferees highly appreciated Kuwait’s Amir’s humanitarian efforts, and development and investment initiatives for African countries, he added.

In this context, the Kuwaiti diplomat pointed to coordination between concerned agencies in Kuwait, on the one hand and the African Union (AU) and the Arab League on the other hand, over the implementation of development projects in African countries.

Kuwait has sent messages to Arab and African countries, asking about the appropriate vision and mechanism for the execution of Arab-funded development and investment projects in African countries, in a way that would surely benefit the people of Africa, Al-Daihani added.

Since the Amir’s development initiatives for Africa were launched, Kuwait has provided African countries with easy loans worth USD 2 billion, over five years and USD-1-billion investments, in addition to a USD 1 million prize, for African development research, a senior Kuwaiti official said.

Kuwait has also extended loans in the vicinity of USD 285 million, to 17 development projects in 17 African countries, mainly hospitals, schools, roads and dams, the Chief of the Foreign Ministry’s Africa Department, Hamad Al-Meshan said.

Furthermore, Kuwait will provide a total of USD 224 million to 13 development projects in 13 African countries, he noted.

All these sums only make up over 50 percent of funding pledged in the Amir’s development and investment initiatives for African countries, he added.

SOURCE: MENA