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ADFD discusses investing in digital economy at WGS 2019
February 12, 2019
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ABU DHABI: The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the leading national entity for international development aid, has been recognised by the Global Council for Sustainable Development Goals for its efforts in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the ongoing seventh edition of the World Government Summit (WGS) 2019.

On day two of the summit, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD, participated in an open session entitled “Investing in Digital Economy: New Approach for Development Funds’”. Moderated by Dr. Abdulrahman Al Hamidy, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of the Arab Monetary Fund, AMF, distinguished panellists headlining the session included Dr. Fahad Abdullah Al Mubarak, Minister of State, and Secretary-General of the G20 Saudi Secretariat, Abdul Hakim Elwaer, Adviser to the President at Islamic Development Bank, IDB, Jin Liqun, President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and Ferid Belhaj, Vice President, Mena Region at the World Bank Group.

The session highlighted that within the prevailing digital era, development funds play a crucial role as key partners in supporting sustainable development and in advancing the process through the financing and management of development projects and digital infrastructure. In strengthening national economies, development funds reduce the financial burdens on the state budget and improve key sectors needed to achieve sustainable development. The panellists concluded that the right digital infrastructure investments act as the backbone of better functioning economies and more inclusive societies.

Speaking at the “Investing in Digital Economy: New Approach for Development Funds” session, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi said, “Development funds design their policies to meet the outlined national priorities of beneficiary countries. We work to enhance government capacity and bring the national plans of beneficiary countries to fruition, through supporting them in building their institutions and financing infrastructure projects. Digitalised economies are today crucial to achieving the challenging sustainable global agenda, therefore financial institutions have begun to invest in financing information, technology, and communication (ICT) projects.”

Al Suwaidi added, “In order to shape an enabling ecosystem for a digital economy, countries need to implement innovative policies and strategies to strengthen education systems, build capacities, ensure a solid and reliable electricity supply, instil good governance mechanisms, and strengthen big data infrastructure. Strong ICT infrastructure is the building block for a digital economy. ADFD’s funding operations help in achieving that by creating an enabling environment, building capacities and funding major development projects in all key sectors including education and electricity.”

WAM

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