Latest News May 18, 2017

news From All Africa

  • SRSG Mohamed Ibn Chambas participates in the third Pan African Forum on Migration in Kampala (Uganda)

    The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mohamed Ibn Chambas, participated in the third Pan African Forum on Migration which took place from 15 to 17 May 2017 in Kampala, Uganda.

    The Forum which was held under the theme “towards an African Common Position on the Global Compact on Migration”, aimed at developing a draft outcome document expressing African common position on migration. This contribution will be used as input to the global Compact on migration to be adopted in 2018.

    In recent years, irregular migration and smuggling of migrants from the sub-saharan Africa towards Europe, via West Africa has significantly increased.

    During the forum, Mohamed Ibn Chambas stressed the importance of regional coordination and highlighted UNOWAS commitment to support ECOWAS in the implementation of its Common approach on Migration and forthcoming Regional Migration Policy. “We will support ECOWAS to raise awareness on migration-related challenges in West Africa and the Sahel to facilitate Member States attaining a unified and cohesive regional position at the Global Compact negotiations,” said Mr. Ibn Chambas.

    This Pan African Forum on Migration is a joint initiative of the African Union Commission, the Regional Economic Communities, with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

    Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS).

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  • UNICEF and KOICA join forces for a fairer chance for adolescent girls in Ghana

    The rights and wellbeing of adolescent girls in Ghana were given a boost today as UNICEF and the Korean International Cooperation Agency – KOICA – committed to a three-year partnership which seeks to address the inequities currently facing thousands of young girls in Ghana.

    The three-year programme called 'A Better Life for Girls in Ghana' promises to address existing issues of gender stereotypes and social norms which disproportionally impact the development of girls. In particular the programme aims to provide a holistic development for and with girls and will address underlying issues of negative consequences affecting girls in particular.

    Korean Ambassador H.E Ambassador Sungsoo Kim said: “Through this collaboration, our broad main goal is to reduce the current worrying trend of child marriage in Ghana. We jointly expect to improve the life of our adolescent girls by keeping them in school as well as broadening their horizon on entrepreneurial opportunities and financial literacy”.

    UNICEF Ghana Representative Susan Namondo Ngongi said: “UNICEF is delighted to be partnering with KOICA on this very important programme – not just the adolescent girls at which this programme is aimed but for a more inclusive development of Ghana where adolescent boys and girls will be at the heart of development. 

    “Girls aged between 12 and 19 are in a very precious and critical phase of their development which can profoundly influence a girl’s future potential. During this key time of transition from girlhood to womanhood, we want to ensure that girls in Ghana are given a fair chance to thrive in a safe and welcoming environment and are given a chance to realise their full potential.”

    KOICA Country Director, Mr. Woochan Chang said: “I wish to assure that both UNICEF and KOICA will continue to actively participate and collaborate with the Government of Ghana, and especially for this Project. The hope is that this project will contribute to the successful implementation of the “National Strategic Framework on Ending Child Marriage in Ghana”, which will be launched next week by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.”

    Research shows that poverty disproportionately affects adolescent girls in many parts of Ghana who face distinct challenges, including greater risk of sexual violence, more chance of being married before they are 18, and less likely to complete their schooling.  Adolescence is also a time when gender roles for girls become more entrenched and gender discrimination can have a detrimental impact on girls which can often determine the trajectory of a girl’s life.

    It is hoped that the three-year engagement between KOICA and UNICEF in Ghana will provide a more enabling and empowering environment for adolescent girls in Ghana to access their opportunities, and to provide a fairer society for girls across Ghana. 

    Distributed by APO on behalf of UNICEF Ghana.

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  • Financial Fiscal Commission Briefs Standing Committee on Appropriations

    The Standing Committee on Appropriations was briefed by the Financial Fiscal Commission (FFC) on Tuesday on the 2017 Appropriation Bill.

    Committee Chairperson Ms Yvonne Phosa said in her opening remarks: “The 2017 Appropriation Bill essentially entails a reprioritisation of our limited resources within government’s constrained fiscal envelope. In addition to the baseline reductions, funds were reallocated amongst the various government programmes. The FFC will assist the Committee in ensuring that funds are indeed allocated to where they are most needed.”

    Briefing the Committee, the FFC said the 2017 Appropriation Bill continues the trend of the 2017 Division of Revenue Bill and fiscal frameworks and revenue proposals by keeping within the expenditure ceilings set by the 2017 Budget Review. As a response to low economic growth forecasts, government continues with the thrust of balancing the need to protect social grants, while targeting non-core and non-performing programmes to cut expenditure, and tax increases.

    The FFC said the 2017 Appropriations Bill comes at a time when South Africa finds itself in a strained political environment that has exacerbated what was an already muted economic outlook.

    One of the big fallouts of the current political climate is the investment ratings downgrade by two ratings agencies. Ratings downgrades increase the government’s debt servicing costs, which implies:

    • Less resources for public spending on infrastructure, social protection and other priority areas, at the very least over the 2017 medium-term economic framework (MTEF) period.
    • If the ratings downgrade significantly affects business confidence, the decline in capital investment will be further exacerbated, making the potential for even modest growth more elusive, thus increasing potential for job losses.
    • The segment of society that is least insulated from the aforementioned effects of the downgrade are the poor
    • History of country downgrades to non-investment grade status shows that countries take significant time to regain investment-grade standing. It is reasonable to expect that repercussions in the economy from downgrades will still be felt in medium- to long-term.

    In response to the FFC’s caution on the negative impact by the downgrading, the Committee calls on government to properly understand the consequences on the fiscus of the recent credit downgrades, and the negative impact this may have on service delivery over the short- to medium-term period. It also calls on the government to outline measures to be taken to address the negative impact these downgrades could have on frontline services, job creation and economic growth.

    The objective of the Bill is to appropriate money from the National Revenue Fund for the requirements of the State for the 2017/18 financial year; to prescribe conditions for the spending of funds withdrawn for the 2018/19 financial year before the commencement of the Appropriation Act for the 2018/19 financial year; and to provide for matters incidental thereto.

    The Committee remains concerned about a number of issues, such as supporting the agricultural sector; the performance of developmental institutions such as the Land Bank; manufacturing; preventing fruitless and wasteful expenditure; ensuring basic controls are in place; transport; performance in education and health sectors; funding for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and provision of necessary skills; and the effective functioning of governance committees such as Internal Audit, Audit Committees, Risk Committees and Monitoring and Evaluation Unit. The Committee feels strongly that issues of performance in key government programmes must be resolved.

    Ms Phosa raised concerns about the increase in irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure over the years, the lack of capacity within departments to carry our basic functions and establish basic controls, and how to enhance the roles of the Department of Public Service and Administration and the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in supporting departments to deliver on their mandates.

    The briefings received on the 2017 Appropriation Bill serve as a precursor to public hearings on the Bill scheduled to be held in Khayelitsha on 24 May 2017.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.

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  • IMF Executive Board Concludes 2016 Article IV Consultation with Togo

    On May 5, 2017, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation with Togo. [1] The Board also approved a new three-year Extended Credit Facility Arrangement for Togo; a press release on this was issued separately.

    The economy has expanded at a healthy rate in recent years. Growth was 5.2 percent in 2014-16 buoyed by infrastructure investments and strong agricultural production. Inflation was well contained, explained by the lower food, energy, and transport prices. Togo’s poverty rate declined from 61.7 percent in 2006 to 55.1 percent in 2015, though it remains geographically concentrated.

    The fast pace of public investment has contributed to a pronounced increase in public debt and the current account deficit. Public debt, including prefinancing debt, domestic arrears, and public enterprise debt, increased from 48.6 percent of GDP in 2011 to 80.8 percent in 2016, reflecting public infrastructure investments financed by both domestic and external borrowing. The current account deficit remained high, reaching 9.8 percent of GDP in 2016, largely due to investment-related imports.

    Economic growth is expected to increase gradually in the medium term as the fiscal stance is put on a sustainable path. Growth is expected to pick up from 5 percent in 2016 to 5.6 by 2021, with the economy reaping the benefits of an improved transportation network and productivity gains in the agricultural sector. The private sector is expected to play an increasing role as the engine of growth, as public investment returns to its long-term sustainable level. Downside risks to growth include capacity constraints in implementation of structural reforms, resistance to reforms from interest groups, and further slowdown in Togo’s main regional trading partners. With the improvement in the fiscal stance, public debt is expected to be reduced from a projected peak of 81.3 percent of GDP in 2017 to 73 percent by 2019.

    Executive Board Assessment [2]

    Following the Executive Board discussion on Togo, Deputy Managing Director Mr. Tao Zhang, and Acting Chair, said:

    “Togo’s economy has shown solid performance in recent years, with sustained growth and low inflation. The country’s growth performance has been underpinned by high levels of public investment to address significant infrastructure gaps. However, this capital spending has also increased public debt and debt service pressures, crowding out needed social expenditures. At the same time, lingering deficiencies in the financial sector have remained unresolved.

    “The new arrangement under the ECF will support the authorities’ efforts towards fiscal consolidation while maintaining space for pro-poor spending. Public financial and debt management will be strengthened and revenue administration bolstered. The two under-capitalized public banks will be consolidated into one healthy institution. Regulation and supervision standards in the microfinance sector will be strengthened.

    “The medium-term economic outlook is favorable, with private sector activity benefiting from stronger infrastructure and an improved business climate. However, further progress will hinge on the authorities’ successful implementation of their ambitious macroeconomic program, as well as pursuing broader structural reforms to improve public financial management and address social needs.” 

    [1] Under Article IV of the IMF's Articles of Agreement, the IMF holds bilateral discussions with members, usually every year. A staff team visits the country, collects economic and financial information, and discusses with officials the country's economic developments and policies. On return to headquarters, the staff prepares a report, which forms the basis for discussion by the Executive Board.

    [2] At the conclusion of the discussion, the Managing Director, as Chairman of the Board, summarizes the views of Executive Directors, and this summary is transmitted to the country's authorities. An explanation of any qualifiers used in summings up can be found here:

    Distributed by APO on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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  • Over 1 million African children’s lives improved by local social entrepreneurs supported by Reach for Change in Africa

    More than one million African children have benefitted from social enterprise development in Africa in the last five years, according to a new report released by Reach for Change Africa ( The non-profit organization, which, this year, is marking its 5th anniversary themed “Accelerating Impact. Driving Change”, also reported that over 300 early-stage social entrepreneurs were supported to develop organizations that are improving the lives of children, youth and women in 7 African countries.

    Since it was first launched in Accra, Ghana in 2012, Reach for Change Africa has provided crucial business development support for social entrepreneurs who, in turn, used their social businesses to impact over one million children. As a result, over 435,000 African children were protected from mental abuse and threats, over 308,000 children were provided with high quality education, and over 156,000 children were supported to develop and live healthy lives.

    “The social enterprise movement is really starting to take off in Africa, and we are honoured to be a part of this movement for change,” said Amma Lartey, Reach for Change Africa’s Regional Director. “With the right supports, social entrepreneurs have the potential to lead Africa’s development and impact millions along the way.”

    Reach for Change Africa is a non-profit organization that runs incubators, accelerators and other customized programs to help local social entrepreneurs develop sustainable organizations that impact the lives of children, youth and women. In the report, a number of social entrepreneurs from the 7 countries where Reach for Change Africa operates, explained how the organization’s programs helped them to develop their social ventures.

    “Being in the Incubator has helped me develop a scalable model,” said Carolyne Ekyarisiima, the founder of Apps & Girls in Tanzania. Apps & Girls is a social enterprise that is bridging the gender gap in ICT through coding clubs, workshops, exhibitions, hackathons, bootcamps and competitions for girls and young women. Since joining the Reach for Change Incubator, Ms. Ekyarisiima has scaled her organization from just one location to 21 clubs in Dar es Salaam.

    “This year, I spoke with my mentor at Reach for Change about the possibility of franchising my social enterprise and got great feedback. This led me to apply for the NEXTGEN franchising competition and because of the great influence and impact of the Reach for Change Incubator, I was among the winners! Now I am looking into scaling Apps & Girls across all of Tanzania and other African countries,” she added.

    The Reach for Change Incubator also helped James Kofi Annan build a social enterprise that’s fighting child-trafficking in Ghana.

    “I owe a debt of gratitude to Reach for Change. Its Incubator program brought direct benefits to me and to Challenging Heights. Today, Challenging Heights is a well-respected global leader in the fight against child trafficking.” said James Kofi Annan.

    From the age of 6 to 16, James Kofi Annan was enslaved, starved, abused and forced to work in appalling conditions. After managing to escape and turning his life around, James was determined to prevent other children from experiencing the same thing. He founded Challenging Heights, an organization that rescues and rehabilitates children from slavery, identifies and educates vulnerable children and establishes income-generating initiatives in at-risk communities and empowers youth and families to help prevent child trafficking.

    Since joining the Reach for Change Incubator in 2013, James has more than quadrupled Challenging Heights annual budget and is implementing a 5 year strategic plan, developed with support from Reach for Change. Most importantly, he has impacted the lives of over 8,000 Ghanaian children.

    The 5 year anniversary report also details Reach for Change’s plans for the future. Over the course of the next 5 years, the organization plans to run additional accelerators to increase the number of African social entrepreneurs that they reach, enriching the social enterprise ecosystem across Africa through research, and implement new programming, such as the rapid scale program for more established social entrepreneurs in the growth phase of their development.

    To ready the full impact report, visit:

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Reach for Change.

    Media Contact:
    For enquiries, please contact
    Tadziripa Madzima-Bosha
    Africa Communications Manager
    Reach for Change Africa Communications
    Phone: +250 729 001 048

    Connect with us:
    Facebook: R4CAfrica (
    Twitter: @R4C_Africa 

    About Reach for Change Africa: 
    Reach for Change Africa ( is a non-profit organization that invests in innovative, early-stage social entrepreneurs who are addressing problems faced by children, youth and women in seven countries across the continent; Ghana, Senegal, Chad, Ethiopia, DR Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania. Reach for Change runs innovation competitions and provides Accelerator and Incubator programs to exceptional social entrepreneurs who are supported to scale their innovations through funding, access to technical and organizational management expertise, and networking opportunities. Reach for Change Africa is a part of the global organization Reach for Change which operates in 17 countries worldwide.

  • GE Healthcare Partners Ridge Regional Hospital for better health in Ghana

    GE (NYSE: GE) (, the world’s Digital Industrial Company has partnered with the Ghana Ministry of Health and Bouygues Batimat International with the support of the US Government to overhaul the Greater Accra Ridge Regional Hospital in the Ridge District of Accra, Ghana. GE Healthcare is on board as a technology partner through the supply and installation of various high-end medical equipment in the new facility. The upgraded hospital, which launched yesterday, has almost trebled its bed count from 192 to 420 and a further 200 beds will be added in the 2nd phase of the project. 

    Today, Greater Accra Ridge Regional Hospital houses the single largest installation of GE Healthcare equipment in Ghana. The hospital is equipped with cutting edge diagnostic equipment such as an ultramodern 1.5T MRI, a 64 slice CT scanner, an ultrasound imaging machine, a digital X-ray machine, a digital fluoroscopy machine; and a PACS/RIS system amongst others. The result is a hospital equipped for a full continuum of care across the radiology, maternal and infant care, cardiology and surgery care area.

    Speaking at the launch event, Farid Fezoua, CEO & President for GE Healthcare Africa said “This project affirms GE’s commitment to bringing the latest advances in medical imaging technology and solutions to Ghana, through unique public–private partnerships such as this one.” “Our world-class technology will allow clinicians at Greater Accra Ridge Regional Hospital to see and detect disease like never-before” he added enthusiastically.

    More than just a supplier of equipment, GE Healthcare adopts the role of a solutions partner, addressing global healthcare needs by providing technologies with clinically and economically relevant value propositions designed at low cost structures; developing holistic solutions that aim to improve clinical quality and patient outcomes; generating capital solutions and new business models to ensure project viability and long term sustainability; and advancing education, skills development and awareness of healthcare professionals to promote local capacity building.

    “Our partnership with GE Healthcare and the US Government helps us to achieve the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Sustainable Development Goals, “says Hon. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Minister of Health. “These goals lay out several health-specific targets, including addressing the need for more equitable and sustainable development that promotes inclusive growth to the benefit of all Ghanaians.”

    The Greater Accra Ridge Regional Hospital is one of the modern and secondary level referral regional hospitals in Ghana, undergoing complete rehabilitation and upgrade. It will cater for residents in the catchment area of the hospital and this includes Nima, Mamobi and Accra Central which have the highest population density.

    The Greater Accra Ridge Regional Hospital upgrade is funded by US-Exim Bank and HSBC, designed by Perkins and Wills, supervised by CIMU-MOH/AECOM/CAPEX and built by Bouygues Bâtiment International (BBI).  GE Healthcare’s equipment was packed by Symx Healthcare Corporation, USA.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of GE.

    GE Media Contact

    Olusegun Obagbemi
    Head of Communications & PR, GE West Africa
    +234 7031779867 

    About GE
    GE (NYSE: GE) ( is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the “GE Store,” through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry.

    About GE Healthcare
    GE Healthcare ( provides transformational medical technologies and services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and more affordable healthcare around the world. GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter – great people and technologies taking on tough challenges. From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and performance improvement solutions, GE Healthcare helps medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients. 

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  • Groundbreaking ceremony for Armacell manufacturing facility in Bahrain
    • Construction of greenfield plant in the Kingdom of Bahrain
    • Serving growing domestic demand in the GCC states
    • Continuation of international growth strategy

    Armacell (, a global leader in flexible foam for the equipment insulation market and a leading provider of engineered foams, today hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off construction of its manufacturing facility in Bahrain.

    The official ceremony was held in the presence of Bahraini government representatives at the Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP).

    H.E. Zayed R. Al Zayani, Minister for Industry, Commerce & Tourism said: “Bahrain’s government has built a robust manufacturing and logistics sector with world class infrastructure and supportive reforms and policies in place. We are seeing more companies taking advantage of this business-friendly environment and Armacell’s investment is a reflection of Bahrain’s strengths as regional hub for manufacturing and logistics. We look forward to supporting Armacell here in Bahrain and in the wider GCC.”

    Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) said: “Armacell is the latest in a long line of international manufacturing companies to base their regional operations in Bahrain. Bahrain remains the destination of choice for manufacturers who want to take advantage of the competitive benefits that our operating environment offers such as the availability of a highly skilled local work force, low costs and our strategic location at the heart of the GCC.”

    Patrick Mathieu, President & CEO of Armacell International S.A., commented: “The greenfield construction of our own production site in Bahrain reinforces our commitment to the Gulf Region, strengthening our presence in this high-growth market where we have been operating since 2008. We are excited to begin our operations early next year, benefiting from Bahrain’s modern business environment, central location and world-class infrastructure.”

    Guillerme Huguen, Vice President EMEA, added: “The construction of our own production site in Bahrain is the logical next step to serve the continuously growing domestic demand in the Gulf Region. The EDB has been supporting us from the start in our endeavour and we are very pleased with the substantial progress we have made since the beginning of this year.”

    Starting production in 2018, the Armacell Group, through Armacell Middle East Company S.P.C., will manufacture a comprehensive range of products at the BIIP, including high-density materials and elastomeric insulation for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems.

    Establishing a manufacturing facility in Bahrain is part of Armacell’s goal to grow the group’s manufacturing footprint in the Gulf Region. Located at the BIIP high quality 247 hectare business park, the plant will initially provide approx. 100 jobs. Armacell’s Middle East team has been active in the Gulf Region for a decade and is led by Neville D’Souza, general manager of Armacell Middle East Company S.P.C.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Armacell.

    Tom Anen
    Director Corporate Communications
    Tel.: +352 2484 9828

    About Armacell
    Armacell ( is a global leader in flexible foam for the equipment insulation market and a leading provider of engineered foams. With 3,000 employees and 25 production plants in 16 countries, the company generated net sales of approx. EUR 560 million and adjusted EBITDA of approx. EUR 100 million in 2016.

    Armacell operates two main businesses:
    Advanced Insulation develops flexible foams for the insulation of technical equipment utilised for the transport of energy – such as heating, ventilation & air conditioning (HVAC) and heating & plumbing (H&P) in residential and commercial construction, process lines in the heavy- and oil & gas industry, equipment in transportation, as well as, accessories and acoustics.
    Engineered Foams develops high-performance foams for the use in a broad range of end markets including transportation, automotive, wind energy, sports and construction.
    Armacell´s products significantly contribute to global energy efficiency.
    For more information, please visit:

    Armacell International S.A.
    Westside Village
    89B, rue Pafebruch
    L-8308 Capellen
    Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

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  • ICD Signs MOU with RKDF to cooperate in identifying projects that need financing

    The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) (, the private sector arm of Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group, has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Russian-Kyrgyz Development Fund (RKDF) in order to identify projects and programmes for financing and co-financing in financial sector in accordance with the respective policies of each institution.

    The MoU envisages enhancing trade and investment opportunities in the country through co-financing and co-investments, with the aim of promoting inclusive growth and financial inclusion. Research collaboration and capacity-building programs that are tailored and demand-driven will also be conducted to better serve target markets. In addition, efforts will be focused on boosting support for Russian small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs), widely recognized as an important economic driver and key contributor to sustainable GDP growth.

    The MoU was signed by Mr. Khaled Al Aboodi, the Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of ICD, and Mr. Mr. Kubanychbek Kulmatov Chairman of Executive Management Board for and on behalf of the RKDF.

    During the signing ceremony, Mr. Khaled Al-Aboodi commented: “ICD and RKDF are founded on similar principles and mandate. We share the vision of promoting trade, foreign direct investment and inclusive economic growth on a country, which is full of potential.  By joining hands, we can better combine our expertise and commitment to achieve greater economic prosperity for the benefit of all. Additionally, as we focus on the SME sector, we hope to unleash entrepreneurial energy and help attract private investment in ideas that are new, inspiring, and useful.”

    Mr Kubanychbek Kulmatov noted that this Memorandum will allow developing joint steps, various financial instruments and applying the long-term experience of ICD for business opportunities in Kyrgyzstan”. 

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD).

    About the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD)

    ICD ( is a multilateral organization and a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group. The mandate of ICD is to support economic development and promote the development of the private sector in its member countries through providing financing facilities and/or investments which are in accordance with the principles of Sharia’a. ICD also provides advice to governments and private organizations to encourage the establishment, expansion and modernization of private enterprises. ICD is rated AA/F1+ by Fitch and Aa3/P1 by Moody’s. For more information, visit

    About Russian-Kyrgyz Development Fund 

    Russian Kyrgyz Development Fund provides specialized financing services for small and medium-sized enterprises in Kyrgyzstan. It provides medium- and long-term loans, through either partner banks or direct financing, in order to promote economic cooperation between the Kyrgyz Republic and the Russian Federation. Russian Kyrgyz Development Fund gives priority to the development of agriculture, textile industry, manufacturing, mining and metals industry, trade, transportation, housing and infrastructure projects. Russian Kyrgyz Development Fund was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

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  • ICD Signs MOU with the Association for Azerbaijan-Arab Countries Cooperation (AACC) to introduce Islamic banking in Azerbaijan

    The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) (, the private sector arm of Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group, has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Association for Azerbaijan-Arab Countries Cooperation (AACC) in order to introduce Islamic banking products in Azerbaijan and to lobby for changes in Azerbaijan banking legislation in order to incorporate Islamic banking.

    With the signing of the MOU, the two institutions agreed to cooperate to facilitate information and expertise exchange in order to develop effective cooperation, which may include organising joint investment forums, professional programs, market research, workshops, publications, study tours, qualifications, and much more.

    On this occasion, Mr. Khalid Al-Aboodi declared that this MoU is strategic for both parties. We believe it will enhance cooperation between ICD and AACC in the Islamic business and finance sectors, which reflects ICD’s determination to deploy all efforts to encourage Islamic finance in the development of the private sector in Azerbaijan and in CIS region.

    Mr. Elshan Rahimov, Chairman of AACC added that the political will of Azerbaijan President of Ilham Aliyev plays an important role in the formation of the friendly relations existing between Azerbaijan and Arab countries. Mr. Rahimov said that high-level economical and political relationship in recent years between Azerbaijan and Arab countries, expansion of cooperation between businesses, increasing visitors from Arab countries to Azerbaijan create favorable conditions for the development of the relations. We consider ICD as strategic partner in Arab region and by signing this MoU we cemented our relationships and it will help us to define our strategy for coming months. AACC together with ICD plans to host First investment Forum for the investors from Arab countries in October 2017 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD).

    Media Inquiries
    Mr. Nabil El Alami
    Fax: +966 12 6444427
    Tel: +966 12 6468192

    About the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD)

    ICD ( is a multilateral organization and a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group. The mandate of ICD is to support economic development and promote the development of the private sector in its member countries through providing financing facilities and/or investments, which are in accordance with the principles of Sharia’a. ICD also provides advice to governments and private organizations to encourage the establishment, expansion and modernization of private enterprises. ICD is rated AA/F1+ by Fitch and Aa3/P1 by Moody’s. For more information, visit

    About Azerbaijan-Arab Countries Cooperation

    The decision to create the “Cooperation of Azerbaijan and Arab Countries” Public Association is timed to President Ilham Aliyev’s initiative that 2017 has been declared the Year of Islamic Solidarity in Azerbaijan, and Baku currently hosting the Islamic Solidarity Games. The aim of establishment of the Association, in which, along with Azerbaijani businessmen, entrepreneurs from Arab countries will also be represented, is the strengthening of economic partnership between Azerbaijan and Arab countries through the promotion of mutual trade and investment, development of friendly relations between the states.

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