The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has funded 70 development projects in the renewable energy sector around the world worth Dh4.4bn that have brought online about 2,584 MW of renewable energy capacity.
In a report marking its 48th anniversary, ADFD announced that it has allocated about Dh92bn in development funding and investments to 90 beneficiary countries.
Since its inception on 15 July 1971, the Fund has disbursed Dh43bn in concessionary loans, Dh46bn in UAE government grants and Dh3bn in investments.
Since 1974, the Fund has contributed about AED2.7 billion to renewable energy projects through joint financing agreements with the governments of developing countries. The remaining funds have been allocated through innovative strategic partnerships, including the seven-cycle AED1.285 billion (US$350 million) IRENA/ADFD Project Facility, the AED183.4 million (US$50 million) UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund (UAE-CREF), as well as the UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund (UAE-PPF) that is valued at AED183.4 million (US$50 million).
Along with its core operations, ADFD’s innovative partnerships with the private sector and international funding institutions have helped consolidate the UAE’s prominent status among global foreign aid providers. The Fund’s support for socio-economic development in developing countries over the past four and a half decades, especially in the last five years, has significantly contributed to the UAE retaining the prestigious title of the world’s top donor of official development assistance relative to national income between 2013 and 2017. This endorsement was reported by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Focusing on key socio-economic sectors, including health, education, housing, water, irrigation, agriculture and renewable energy, ADFD’s development funding seeks to support the national priorities of beneficiary countries, bolster sustainable economic development, improve standards of living and drive the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Moreover, ADFD holds equity stakes in numerous companies and private equity funds. Serving various key sectors, these investments play a crucial role in driving economic development and job creation in beneficiary countries. To date, the Fund has invested in 13 companies and 4 private equity funds across Africa, Europe, and Asia.
ADFD has also adopted a policy of financing UAE private sector investments. To enhance competitiveness and enable investment opportunities, the policy aims to lay the foundations and guidelines for providing funding for national private sector investments in the UAE and abroad.
In addition, ADFD has amended its tendering system to give 10 per cent preference to national companies that pass the technical assessment and financial qualification stage outlined in the Fund’s tender policy for grant projects. Over the last 10 years, its efforts have facilitated business deals worth AED16.5 billion for UAE companies to implement ADFD-funded projects in developing countries.
Furthermore, ADFD is currently in the process of finalising a UAE-wide national export financing programme to provide financing and guarantee facilities to boost export rates and open new markets. In line with the UAE Vision 2021 and Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, aimed at advancing economic diversification as a pillar of sustainable development, the programme seeks to enhance the competitiveness of the national economy in international markets through expanding the range of export products and commodities.
Speaking on the occasion, His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: “Over the last 48 years, ADFD marked significant economic development milestones all over the world. Since its establishment by the founding father of the UAE, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and continuing under the wise leadership of the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of ADFD Board of Directors, the Fund has succeeded in boosting the growth of key sectors in developing countries.”
He added: “ADFD works as a strategic partner with the governments of the beneficiary countries to support their development programmes and objectives with a focus on financing projects that improve infrastructure and elevate living standards. We are committed to continuing our noble journey of assisting developing nations in their sustainable development endeavours.”
ADFD was established in 1971 with a starting operating capital worth AED500 million. Over the years, the Fund has registered steady financial growth and expanded its footprint across the globe. ADFD’s operating capital today is AED16 billion.