The director-general of the OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa has signed a US$20mn development loan to help finance Burkina Faso’s Agricultural Value Chain Support Project (PAPFA)
Dr Alkhalifa signed the loan in Ouagadougou with Burkina Faso’s Minister of Economy, Finance and Development, Lassané Kabore. PAPFA aims to contribute to poverty alleviation and to enhance food security in Burkina Faso. Specifically, the project will help crop and vegetable farmers adopt efficient technologies related to the production, processing and storage of produce, ultimately enabling them to increase sales in local and regional markets.
Dr Alkhalifa said, “This latest OPEC Fund loan demonstrates our continued commitment to a striving country that retains hope, despite the challenges it still faces. It is our way of saying: ‘we are your partners’.”
While on the high-level mission to the West African country, Dr Alkhalifa attended the inauguration ceremonies of two major development projects co-financed by the OPEC Fund – the Hospital of Ziniaré and the University of Ouagadougou. The inaugurations were held under the aegis of the President of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Kaboré.
The University of Ouagadougou project was co-financed by the OPEC Fund in partnership with the Arab Bank for Economic Development (BADEA) and the government of Burkina Faso. The new and expanded facilities include dormitories and provide a better academic environment. Approximately 18,500 on-campus students are expected to benefit.
Dr Alkhalifa explained, “Ensuring inclusive and quality education for all – and promoting lifelong learning – is a fundamental ingredient to sustainable development. To see such a project come to life is inspiring and I believe this university will enable many people – young and old – to play a role in advancing the development of Burkina Faso, and more generally, in contributing toward a more equal global society.”
At the ceremony, Dr Alkassoum Maïga, Burkina Faso’s minister of higher education and scientific research, conferred Dr Alkhalifa with L’ordre National de l’Etalon – a national honour in recognition of the OPEC Fund’s continued support of development in the country. The Minister conferred the honour on behalf of President Kaboré. Dr Alkhalifa said that he was proud of the OPEC Fund’s work with Burkina Faso and honoured to receive the decoration on behalf of the organisation.
The Hospital of Ziniaré – a modern and fully equipped health centre in the town of Ziniaré, 35km from the capital Ouagadougou – is also co-financed by the OPEC Fund, BADEA and the government of Burkina Faso. The hospital provides access to specialized, high-quality healthcare services and is expected to improve maternal/infant health and fight diseases endemic to the area.