By Sam Bridge
UAE's Consortium for Africa aims to be a long-term builder of human capital with two immediate priorities - digitisation and youth
A new initiative with a committed investment of $500 million has been unveiled by the UAE to help fulfil the vision of a connected new Africa.
Launched at the African Union, the UAE’S Consortium for Africa will be a long-term builder of human capital on the continent with two immediate priorities - digitisation and youth, according to the UAE Minister for International Cooperation, Reem Al Hashimy.
She said the consortium would align the UAE government and its private sector’s commitment to Africa, combining ambition for progress, and resource to support it, into one focused entity to assist development and investment.
Al Hashimy said: “More than simply donor or a provider of concessionary loans, the UAE understands that real value lies in the long-term building of human capital. And we are committed to helping deliver the apparatus in which start-ups can thrive, entrepreneurs can lead, and young people can look forward with optimism to a future that is firmly in their control.”
The focus on digitisation and youth would ensure that “our young and talented populations are not overwhelmed by, but embrace, the opportunities of the future”, she added.
“We have listened closely to what you have told us, as a continent represented by the African Union, and as nations that make up its member states. And we have heard your call to the UAE: to draw on lessons learned through our own development, and to target the UAE’s investment into Africa’s digital economy,” she said.
The UAE has been an active partner on the continent throughout its 49-year history, investing billions in roads, bridges and ports, schools, clinics and hospitals.