Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has signed an agreement with the government of Sierra Leone to provide a loan worth over Dhs33 million to finance a solar power plant in the African country.
The Solar Park Freetown project includes a solar power plant in the city of Freetown and will generate around six megawatts (MW) of renewable energy for Sierra Leone, state news agency WAM reported.
The project is also expected to boost public-private partnerships in the country’s renewable energy sector, a statement said.
“We believe in supporting developing countries and helping them deploy renewable energy as a substitute for traditional energy that has negative effects on humans and the environment,” said Mohammad Saif Al Suwaidi, director general of ADFD.
“We believe in the importance of encouraging investment in renewable energy and that’s why we launched this initiative.”
The loan is one of several being made through an initiative with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), whereby ADFD is providing concessional financing for renewable energy projects in developing countries such as Ecuador, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania and Samoa along with Sierra Leone.
ADFD previously provided a Dhs20 million loan to Sierra Leone to finance the Toke-Lumley road project in 2012, which helped link Freetown to other parts of the country.
The state-managed fund has also provided grant financing to the UAE-Pacific partnership fund that was established to fund various renewable energy projects in the Pacific Island countries.
ADFD, which is chaired by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was established in 1971 as a vehicle to manage the UAE’s humanitarian affairs.
Total loans provided by the fund since its inception until the end of 2012 amounted to Dhs14.90 billion, covering 226 projects. The total value of grants provided by the Abu Dhabi government to projects managed by the fund reached Dhs13.46 billion.
In 2012, ADFD also signed a MoU with the Asian Development Bank to increase cooperation between the two regions and develop a framework for co-financing development projects in Asia.