Abu Dhabi – Abu Dhabi Fund for Development participated in the inauguration of the first bridge built as part of the Berbera-Hargeisa corridor project in Somaliland. This strategic initiative has been financed from the AED 330.5 million (US$89.9m) grant programme provided by the United Arab Emirates for the country in 2017. The grant is managed by ADFD to finance various projects to drive sustainable development in Somaliland.
Muse Bihi Abdi, President of the Republic of Somaliland, inaugurated the project in the presence of Abdullah Muhammad Al Naqbi, Director of the UAE Trade Office in Somaliland, and several ministers and senior officials. He praised the UAE and its leadership for providing a steady support to his country to overcome developmental challenges.
With a length of 105 metres, the bridge is considered one of the longest along the Berbera-Hargeisa corridor that links major cities and regions in the country. Additionally, the road connects the strategic port of Berbera with the Somaliland capital, Hargeisa, the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, as well as other East African countries, facilitating economic cooperation and enhancing trade. The project has been carried out at a cost of AED262m (US$71.4m).
Mohamed Saif Al-Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: “The inauguration of the strategic infrastructure project marks a qualitative leap in economic and social development in Somaliland. This is because the project will significantly facilitate import and export of food and agricultural products, in addition to supporting small and medium enterprises and connecting the local markets with the regional ones.”
He stressed that ADFD is keen to support the country to advance its sustainable development initiative through financing projects in strategic areas. “The Fund finances a number of vital projects in various sectors such as energy, transport and agriculture, in addition to promoting small and medium enterprises, which drives development in the country,” Al Suwaidi added.
Abdi emphasised the strategic importance of the Berbera-Hargeisa roads project in facilitating trade, commutation, and traffic movement. “The government is striving to develop infrastructure to boost the economy,” he said, noting that the bridge will enable people to commute to rural and urban areas safely and smoothly even during the rainy seasons when thousands are forced to put their lives at risk while crossing valleys and waterways.
The Berbera-Hargeisa corridor project aims to facilitate traffic and passenger movement, reduce time and cost incurred on them and lower carbon emission. The project also contributes to promoting economic activities in smaller cities along the road by linking them with the main cities in the country.
About Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD)
Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) is a leading national entity for economic development aid owned by the Abu Dhabi government. Established in 1971, it aims to help emerging countries by providing concessionary loans to finance sustainable development projects as well as administer long-term investments and direct contributions. In addition to managing development grants offered by the Abu Dhabi government, ADFD has adopted a policy of supporting the national economy and financing UAE private-sector investments. Since its inception, ADFD has marked developmental milestones in 103 developing countries. Spanning the last 50 years, the Fund’s development projects and investments, valued at AED150 billion, have helped the international community achieve sustainable economic growth, as well as drive the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).