The Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to Nigeria, Abdulaziz Albisher, has said that the Emir of Kuwait has approved $2 billion as grants and concessionary loans to African countries.
He said the loans, reserved for investment and development, will be spread over five years.
Besides, the envoy said that Kuwait has initiated another Annual Prize of $1 million for researches and research projects on agriculture, health and Ebola eradication.
Mr. Albisher, who made the disclosures at a pre-58th National Day interaction with select media in Abuja, urged African nations to take advantage of the loan facility.
He said: “Kuwait has always had Africa at heart, that need not to be underlined, for it fashioned numerous contributions and initiatives meant to enhance Africa’s development. The presence of my government`s developmental efforts is well recognised.
“Let me first of all throw the light on the Arab-African Summit held in Kuwait during which His Highness, the Emir of the State of Kuwait gave his directive to the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development to facilitate grants and concessionary loans to African countries to the tune of $2 billion reserved for investment and development spread over five years.
“It (the $2 billion) is meant to support the efforts of the African countries towards realising their developmental aspiration in various fields, particularly infrastructure. As this initiative is to be executed through the Kuwait Fund it goes through legal procedures.
“In line with the interest of His Highness on Africa, he attended the 19th African Union Summit held in Ethiopia as guest of honors where he offered to well equip the then newly build African Union secretariat.
“The same summit witnessed granting the State of Kuwait membership to the African Union in the capacity of an observer.”
Albisher also informed that Kuwait has set aside another $1 million annually for researches in agriculture, health interventions and Ebola eradication, among others.
He added: “Let me also make mention that the Emir of the state of Kuwait has also announced the intention of his country to grant an Annual Prize of one $1 million U.S. in the memory of late Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sumit.
“This prize is meant for development researches and research projects in agriculture, health and Ebola eradication. This prize is under the auspices of Kuwait Scientific Institution and the theme for the 2019 prize is food security.”
On his assessment of Nigeria, Albisher said it has the potentials of emerging as one of the best economies in the world.
He said: “Nigeria in my opinion is the giant of Africa, with huge potential that made it a pioneer in regional, continental and international scenes; it has already assumed remarkable roles by maintaining peace and stability through financial and human sacrifices.
“As for the Nigerians they are indeed hospitable and friendly. In fact we share a lot in terms of culture and cherished values.
“Nigeria is a very special country endowed with numerous resources that will undoubtedly enable it to be one of the top world economies in the near future, its cultural heritage is exceptional, the roles played by its successive governments and the current able government in particular on the regional continental and world levels maintaining peace and security are very much appreciated.”