Crown Prince: Saudi Arabia to invest $1 billion in African countries this year

May 18, 2021

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia will continue to play an important role in the development of the African continent, said Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman on Tuesday, announcing that the Saudi Development Fund will invest $1 billion in the region this year.

He also said that the Kingdom will support regional and international efforts in cooperation with the African Union to lay the foundations of security, stability and conflict resolution in the continent.

The Crown Prince made the remarks during his speech via video-conferencing at the Africa Summit on post-COVID-19 economic recovery in Paris.

Addressing the participants at the conference, the Crown Prince said that the G20 countries under the Saudi presidency in 2020 realized the need to work to support low-income countries in Africa and in the rest of the world to address the pandemic.

He also said that at the extraordinary summit held in March 2020, the group acknowledged that strengthening the health system in Africa is a basis for the integration of the global health system, and the leaders pledged to enhance capacity-building and provide specialized technical assistance to the most vulnerable communities, in addition to their readiness to mobilize the development and humanitarian funding necessary for these countries.

As part of the relief efforts, the G20 provided emergency support to low-income countries, including the launch of the initiative to suspend debt-service payments, the Crown Prince pointed out.

He noted that the historic G20 initiative provided urgent liquidity to 73 poorest countries, including 38 African countries that received more than $5 billion.

The Crown Prince highlighted that the Public Investment Fund in the Kingdom is carrying out a number of projects and activities worth SR15 billion (nearly $4billion) in energy, mining, telecommunications, food and other sectors.

The Public Investment Fund intends to continue efforts to search for investment opportunities in the African continent, whether directly or indirectly, in other countries and sectors, he pointed out.

The Crown Prince also said that the Saudi Fund for Development has been operating effectively in Africa for four decades, during which it provided loans and grants to more than 45 African countries amounting to over SR50 billion (approximately $13.5 billion).

Drawing the attention of the participants, the Crown Prince said that the phenomenon of climate change is a global challenge as it threatens the quality of life for many residents and their livelihoods, especially in low-income countries.

Therefore, the G20 under the Saudi presidency attached great importance to protecting the planet, as it launched a number of initiatives aimed at limiting the effects of climate change and the most influential sources of gas emissions in the atmosphere, including the concepts of a circular carbon economy and ensuring access to cleaner and more sustainable energy at an affordable price, he added.

The Crown Prince referred to the recently unveiled “Green Middle East Initiative” which aims to plant more than 50 billion trees and reduce more than 10 percent of carbon emissions in the world, pointing out that the initiative covers many African countries.

With regard to the war on terror, he said that Saudi Arabia supports international efforts in combating terrorist groups and extremism in all affected countries and has provided 100 million euros (nearly SR500 million) for efforts to combat terrorism and improve the security capabilities of these countries.

May 18, 2021
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