Following the Africa-UAE Trade and Investment Forum, investors from the United Arab Emirates has pledged $2 billion in investments in Nigeria’s mining sector.
The investment commitments were made through the office of Sheikh Hamdan bin Khalifa, the former ruler of Abu Dhabi, UAE, at the event held in Dubai, according to a statement from the Foreign Investment Network, the forum’s organizers.
The donations would strengthen trade and bilateral ties between Nigeria and the UAE, according to the statement, which quoted Zulfiquar Ghadiyali, the UAE’s Khalifa and UN Global Peace Ambassador.
According to the statement, the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, advocated for more investments in Nigeria at the event.
Mr Uchechukwu Ogah, Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, was quoted as thanking Khalifa for the amount he pledged for Nigeria’s long-term development.
Mrs. Olayinka Fayomi, the Chairman of FIN, described Africa as one of the UAE’s most important markets. READ ALSO: NCDMB, GACN, Infini Pens Gas Supply Deal
She explained that the purpose of the event was to strengthen and expand business and investment ties between Africa and the UAE, as well as to provide avenues for international investors and project financing institutions to connect with Africa’s existing infrastructure and investment needs.
“Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, recently singled out Africa as one of Dubai’s most promising business partners in the coming years,” she said.
“According to data released recently by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade, the UAE’s overall trade with six non-Arab African countries, including Angola, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Tanzania, reached $8 billion in 2020.
“By 2025, the UAE—Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa trade volume is expected to attract 600 million customers.”
According to her, the UAE’s total non-oil trade with Africa is valued at $25 billion, and this figure is expected to rise in the coming years.
“According to the UN COMTRADE database on international trade, European Union exports to the UAE were $30.02 billion in 2020; the US goods trade surplus with the UAE was $15.6 billion in 2019; UAE imports from China were $39.37 billion in 2020, while imports from Japan were $9.46 billion in 2020,” Fayomi said.
However, Africa’s trade share with the UAE remains at 18 percent, the lowest among other partners. Experts claim that “poor infrastructure” is to blame for the poor trade relationship between Africa and the UAE.
She explained that Africa needed massive investments in critical infrastructure and that the UAE had the capacity and technology to assist the continent through private sector investment.