(Ecofin Agency) - The French Development Agency (AFD) and the Saudi fund for development announced yesterday April 11, they will jointly invest €200 million in African projects, especially in the Sahel region.
“We’ve signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Saudi fund for development, for a strengthened cooperation, a strategic dialog, co-financing, but also €100 million from each partner to develop projects in Africa especially in Sahel,” AFD indicated in a statement.
This Memorandum of cooperation was initiated during the Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman‘s visit to France.
“As leaders in development, Saudi Arabia and France will jointly work to better meet development needs in Sahel,” said Ahmed Al Khateeb, chairman of the Saudi Fund, quoted in the statement.
During a joint press conference with Mohammed bin Salman, the French President Emmanuel Macron announced a strengthening of both countries’ cooperation in the Sahel, in addition to providing support to the G5 Sahel regional anti-jihadist force (in Mauritania, Mali, Chad, Niger and Burkina Faso).
“Saudi Arabia has not only committed itself alongside France to support G5 Sahel member countries and funding their joint armed forces, but has also announced it will double the effort to support development initiatives in the region under the Alliance for the Sahel. By doing this, the Kingdom is sharing our strategic vision to establish a military and a development component to help our partners in the Sahel,” he said.
Let’s note that the Sahel, stretch of land at south of the Sahara from Mauritania to central Sudan, hosts a mosaic of jihadist movements against which five states in the region have set up, with the support of France, joint combatant units of 5,000 soldiers. For this purpose, Riyadh had already announced in late 2017, a commitment of €100 million to support the new regional anti-jihadist force.