Maputo Mozambique — Suriname is sending a strong delegation to participate in the 22nd Annual Board of Governors Meeting of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), in Mozambique, which begins on Wednesday in Maputo. Among the delegation are, Suriname’s governor to the Islamic Bank Gillmore Hoefdraad and alternate governor, Anwar Lall Mohammed.
At the centre of this mission to Mozambique are two projects that Paramaribo submitted and wants to see approved. As well, Paramaribo is submitting new projects that the government is seeking further support from the Islamic Bank in its drive to improve the country’s health and education infrastructure.
Suriname has received over US$105 million in financing of 12 operations since 1997 from the Islamic Bank. In 2013, Suriname and the Islamic Bank agreed on a new interim member country partnership strategy, which translated into Suriname recently receiving additional loans totaling US$75.8 million for two projects in the health and education section. Suriname is now working to seal a broader partnership with the bank.
The Maputo meeting will consider a number of important items and reports on its agenda such as a report on the Ten-Year Strategic Framework of the IsDB Group, which was approved by the board of governors last year in Jeddah to help the IsDB group respond more effectively to social and economic developments in member states.
The agenda will also include other issues from the 40th Annual Report of the bank and the approval of the IDB annual audited accounts, programmes and specialised funds.
On the sidelines of the meeting, there will be several sessions on a wide range of financial, social and economic issues that are significant to IDB member countries, such as exploring innovative solutions for affordable microfinance in Africa, IDB Group – African Union Commission Joint private sector forum, disaster risk management challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa, critical lessons from the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa, education for competitiveness, delivering infrastructure through public private partnerships, fostering development of construction industry in IDB member countries, launching of IDB – Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation “Lives & Livelihoods” Fund, among other workshops.
According to António Laíce, representative of the ministry of economy and finance of Mozambique, the Islamic Bank distinguishes itself from conventional or commercial banks, insofar as “not applicable interest rates on credit granting, but commission services that are below 1%.”
Mozambique has been one of the recipients of financial assistance from the IDB. Since the country became a member it has already received financial aid worth US$300 million that has been invested in development projects in the areas of agriculture, education, fisheries and infrastructure according to Mozambique minister of economy and finance, Adriano Maleiane
The Islamic Development Bank is an institution that aims to provide economic and social development to its member countries by granting credit to projects and companies, promoting trade and exports.