(MENAFN - Arab Times) Five African countries have recieved loans worth a total of around 67-70 million from the state-founded Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, its Director General Abdulwahab Al-Bader said on Sunday.
"We (KFAED) have taken the opportunity to sign agreements with five nations while His Highness the Amir of Kuwait (Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah) is in the country (Ethiopia) to attend the 19th African Union Assembly as guest of honour. These countries are Uganda, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Senegal, and Kenya," he told KUNA in an interview earlier.
"These agreements relate to development projects the fund agreed upon with these countries earlier, which would be signed today," he said during the signing ceremonies at Africa Hall, the headquarters of the African Union.
Asked about the nature of these loans, Al-Bader said they fund varied projects, namely for building roads, schools, and a dam, where Lesotho is concerned.
After signing on behalf of his country, the President of Senegal Macky Sall told KUNA that the loan was for building a key road in Dakar worth 17.5 million.
"I would like to express my thanks to the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and to affirm that our two countries are working closely.
"As you know, Senegal was very involved during the Gulf war and we lost a lot of (Senegalese) people. Kuwait cooperates very nicely and generously with Senegal " we appreciate that, and aim to provide an added boost to these relations."
For his part, the Prime Minister of Lesotho Tom Thabane said, "This is not the first time we have this kind of cooperation with Kuwait. We've had a special and very close association with Kuwait.
"And I think that what has happened here today once again is one more step in a very healthy relationship that we have to keep up."
Meanwhile, Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah said his country was keen to assist African nations, in appreciation of their role during tough times for Kuwait and to improve Arab relations with Africa.
He made the comment at the residence of HH the Amir earlier on Sunday evening, after attending meetings with several African leaders, during the Kuwaiti delegation's visit as guest of honour and observer at the African Union Assembly meeting in Addis Ababa.
"We would like to thank the African Union and the head of the current session on their kind invitation, for HH the Amir to have attended the African Union Assembly in its 19th session.
"There is no doubt that Kuwait will be hosting the Arab-African Summit and ahead of this occasion HH the Amir was happy to attend today as an honorary guest and deliver a speech to welcome African leaders to Kuwait in 2013."
"HH the Amir's speech focused on more than one issue, and its contents were a clear message of gratitude and appreciation to the member nations of the African Union for standing beside Kuwait during tough times," said Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled, also Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs.
He noted the efforts of the state-founded Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, which operates in 48 countries in the African Union out of a total 50, emphasising that this presence was solely aimed at improving the infrastructure of these nations.
The Amir, and the delegation accompanying him returned home Monday, after attending the 19th Summit of the African Union.
The Amir was received at the airport by HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, senior sheikhs, Deputy Chief of National Guards Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Acting National Assembly Speaker Abdullah Youssef Al-Roumi, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Deputy Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah, senior state officials, military, police and National Guard figures.