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KUWAIT CITY, Dec 29: The Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) and The Arab Gulf Programme for Development (AGFUND) signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday, Dec 28, to promote economic development and achieve sustainable development goals in the Arab region through boosting financial inclusion and enhancing the role of the financial inclusion. The MOU will focus on supporting micro, small and medium-sized agricultural projects, and digital financial transformation, which contributes to accelerating the economic growth and creating job opportunities in the region, in addition to supporting legislations and supervisions of the financial systems including microfinance.
The memorandum was signed by His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, President of the Arab Gulf Programme for Development (AGFUND), and Dr Abdulrahman A. Al Hamidy, Director General Chairman of the Board – Arab Monetary Fund “amf”. AGFUND Board of Directors namely, Ghazi Almotawa, representative of the State of Kuwait, Nawaf Al-Sada, representative of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Mohsen Al-Bahli, representative of the State of Qatar, Muhammad Al-Mahrouqi, representative of Sultanate of Oman, and Dr. Nasser Al-Qahtani, Executive Director of AGFUND observed the signing ceremony.
The memorandum will help the two organizations coordinate and consolidate efforts to deal with issues related to the development of the financial and microfinance sectors. This includes supporting and assisting Arab countries in designing and implementing financial sector reforms, covering areas such as microfinance and good governance to boost financial inclusion and maintain stability through joint projects, technical assistance, and capacity-building as part of a strategy to develop the region’s financial infrastructure.
The agreement also includes supporting traditional and innovative financial solutions, such as green finance, responsible and sustainable finance, microfinance, and the agricultural insurance sector. Cooperation will also include joint efforts to support the goals of sustainable economic development, structural reforms, in addition to joint participation in relevant initiatives, programs, conferences, research projects, and studies. On the side-lines of the meeting, AGFUND announced its support for the comprehensive economic reform program signed between the Arab Monetary Fund and the Yemeni government, funded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The program, which extends until 2025, aims to establish the foundations of economic stability in Yemen, strengthen the state’s public finances and external position, rebuild its institutions, and promote comprehensive and sustainable economic growth, leading to putting the Yemeni economy on a more sustainable path, and advancing the economic and social development processes.
His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, President of the Arab Gulf Programme for Development, said that deepening partnership efforts with the Arab Monetary Fund refl ects AGFUND’s strategy, which aims to strengthen cooperation that supports reforms in Arab countries that help them achieve sustainable development.
This can be done via backing the business environments of Arab countries, supporting corporate governance and financial institutions in the fields of microfinance, financial education, environmental and community policies, as well as food security. In addition to paying special attention to small-scale agricultural projects, and health insurance services, as well as improving education, value chains, services for small farmers, women’s participation, and creating job opportunities for young people. His Royal Highness also reaffirmed his support for the reform program in Yemen, which is being supervised by the Arab Monetary Fund, noting that cooperation in this context represents a practical example of cooperation between the Arab Monetary Fund and the Arab Gulf Programme for Development.
Meanwhile, His Excellency Dr. Abdulrahman A. Al Hamidy, Director General Chairman of the Board – Arab Monetary Fund “AMF”, expressed his joy at signing the MOU, which he sees enhancing financial inclusion in the Arab region through improving the access of small farmers, rural communities, and microenterprises to financial and banking services. The cooperation will also include training programs, capacitybuilding, and technical support in the areas of financial inclusion to achieve sustainable development goals.
His Excellency Dr. AlHamidy also praised in this regard the keenness of His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, President of AGFUND, to deepen cooperation and partnership efforts with the Arab Monetary Fund, appreciating the generosity of the Arab Gulf Programme for Development in supporting the comprehensive economic reform program signed between the Arab Monetary Fund and the Yemeni government. His Excellency is looking forward to the participation of other institutions to support the reforms in the Republic of Yemen to restore its path of development and emphasized the importance of the cooperation of Dr. Nasser bin Bakr Alkahtani, Executive Director of the Arab Gulf Programme for Development, and the colleagues in the program, in advancing joint activities that serve the areas specified in the agreement.
The Executive Director of AGFUND, Dr. Nasser bin Bakr Alkahtani, confirmed that this agreement strengths the previous cooperation efforts between AGFUND and the Arab Monetary Fund, which started in 2016 during the Abu Dhabi Microfinance Conference, which advocated for sound legislations of financial inclusion in the Arab region.