UAE: a catalyst for the development of African countries



Win-win relationships for Africa’s development.

The United Arab Emirates have become in a few years a strategic economic partner for the African continent thanks to their good policies vis-à-vis African countries. The policies of the United Arab Emirates are to promote the development and well-being of Africans by providing short-term relief and establishing development projects in partnership to develop Africa in the long term. Hence, many African leaders are opting for the UAE to build economic ties to boost their economy. To make this possible, the United Arab Emirates has revived one of the oldest trade routes in the world, having established itself as a major gateway to Africa and the second largest foreign investor on the continent after China. .
Relations between the African continent and the UAE are a two-way relationship. Indeed, African companies come to Dubai to bring their expertise in several areas such as infrastructure and construction. There are over 21,000 African businesses in the emirate of Dubai driven by incentives such as tax breaks, visas and Islamic financing. These companies contribute directly to the development of their respective countries, thus impacting millions of Africans.

UAE Etihad 7 initiative to help African countries.

This initiative was launched as part of the activities of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2022, an innovative program led by the United Arab Emirates. It aims to secure funding for renewable energy projects in Africa, as well as provide clean electricity to 100 million people by 2035. It will raise funds from the public and private sectors to invest in the clean energy under the direction and coordination of the UAE Ministry. of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change. Primarily, the initiative will help African countries meet their urgently growing energy needs without a corresponding increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

The UAE appeals to international institutions to support development in Africa.

The UAE’s relations with African countries go beyond a win-win relationship. In fact, the UAE takes every opportunity to support the continent. In this regard, during the Conference of Parties (COP27), Amira Al-Hafeiti, Deputy Permanent Representative of the State to the United Nations, said in a statement that the international community should invest in clean energy and climate and supporting development in Africa to maintain stability and prevent conflict. She stressed that the international community “must remember that fragile states, especially Africans, currently receive less climate finance than other developing countries, and this gap must be closed, because climate finance is an investment that keeps stability directly and prevents conflicts”.

The UAE’s support for Africa also covers the fight against terrorism, as the UAE believes that there is currently a danger to the African continent threatening security and peace, not only in the region, but in around the world, which is the escalation of terrorism linked to organizations and groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS. While African countries need military support, now led by France in the Sahel region and the United States in Central Africa, countries on the continent also need forms of economic and humanitarian support in general. It should be noted that the United Arab Emirates will host COP 28 in 2023 to fight against climate change and contribute to sustainable development projects in the world and in Africa.

Extended economic relations with Africa.

Economic relations between the UAE and African countries are deep-rooted and broader. In fact, non-oil trade with Africa has grown 700% over the past 15 years, from $33 billion in 2015 to $50 billion in 2019, according to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. .
There are six regional directorates in the energy sector, eight in financial services, seven in motor vehicles and their parts and five in technology. Next in the ranking: wholesalers, aerospace and defense companies, health and finally transport, according to Infomineo.

Dubai plays a huge role in the development of Africa. Indeed, Dubai is a vital center for trade in Africa, competing with commercial cities such as Nairobi, Johannesburg, Cairo and Accra; thus playing a vital role as business centres. It can be said that the value of investments in African countries has reached 15 billion dollars; which reflects the role of the UAE in supporting development in Africa.

In this regard, the UAE intends to forge strategic relations based on mutual respect and common interests; not on the exploitation of the resources of the African continent.

Nigeria and UEA, concrete economic cooperation and coordination.

Economic relations between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates are booming. Indeed, in December 2020, the United Arab Emirates and Nigeria signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a joint committee to enhance cooperation and coordination between the two countries in all areas, including political, economic, cultural, judicial and security; as well as to encourage cooperation in trade and investment fields between the two countries, exchange experiences and monitor the implementation of agreements, protocols, memorandums of understanding and executive programs signed between the two countries.

It should be noted that relations between the UAE and Nigeria began in 1982 and the country’s embassy in Abuja was opened in 2009. Additionally, the volume of non-oil trade between the two countries has increased. amounted to US$1.45 billion in 2019.

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