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Arab Bank to Boost Africa Loans by 10% Annually Over 5 Years

The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa plans to grow lending on the continent by 10 percent annually over five years, Director-General Abdelaziz Khelef said.

The lender, known as Badea, currently has a loan portfolio in Africa totaling $2.5 billion, Khelef said in an interview today at the African Development Bank’s annual meeting in Arusha, Tanzania. The European debt crisis is unlikely to have any impact on the bank’s commitment to the continent, he said.

“We and other Arab funds are going to keep our commitments to Africa despite the European crisis,” Khelef said. Arab sovereign wealth funds have a combined portfolio of about $15 billion in Africa, he said.

Badea and Tanzania signed a $10 million loan to support a $23 million road project linking the southern and northern parts of Pemba Island, off the coast of Tanzania, Finance Minister William Mgimwa told reporters today in Arusha.

The Saudi Fund for Development matched the $10 million, and Tanzania’s government will provide $3 million, Mgimwa said.

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