19 Nov 2013 08:40am
KUWAIT, 19 NOV (NAMPA) The Africa- Arab Economic Forum says it plans to address food security as one of the most pressing issues in their respective regions.
This call was made in a media statement issued to Nampa here on Sunday by the Department of Media Information of Kuwait.
The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development organised the economic forum from 11 to 13 November, ahead of the main Third Afro-Arab Summit taking place here from 19 to 20 November.
The forum deliberated on issues of common interest for cooperation between African and Arab countries, and provided practical recommendations for consideration by the summit.
The Africa-Arab Economic Forum focused on areas of cooperation in the fields of food security and joint investments in order to find means of strengthening coordination and cooperation, which will result in meeting the interests of both regions, it stated.
The forum also discussed the establishment of a mechanism to finance joint projects, and encouraged national and regional financial institutions to continue their support of socio-economic development initiatives, particularly for projects in the sectors of agriculture, education, health, energy, drinking water and other social services.
The African Union Commission and the General Secretariat of the Arab League were also called on to organise a forum for financial banking systems, investment agencies as well as investment funds to periodically discuss investment perspectives in the Arab and African regions.
The economic forum also gave an indication that a country like Sudan was one of the countries in Africa which could qualify for achieving Arab food security, and work to attract Arab investments if political stability is achieved.
The forum also witnessed side-meetings, which included the signing of several loan and assistance agreements between the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and a number of African nations worth around 110 million US dollars (N.dollars1,1 billion).
These include a loan to Rwanda of 3.6 milion US dollars (N.dollars 36 million) to contribute to the construction of a major hospital, a loan to Gambia worth 20.4 million US dollars (N.dollars 200,4 million) for logistical support as well as a loan to Burkina Faso of 20.5 million (N.dollars 200,5 million) to fund the Quagadougou Airport project.
Sudan also received a loan of 46 million US dollars (N.dollars 460 million) to finance the launching of an integrated mining project, whilst Somalia received a loan of 10.6 million US dollars (N.dollars 100,6 million) for the funding of small and micro-projects in agricultural businesses.
Kuwait and Kenya also signed two agreements on the avoidance of double taxation, and the encouragement of the reciprocal protection of investments.