$344.5mn in financing for electric express train project in Egypt green-lit by IsDB

Funds were approved for projects that support socio-economic development and promote sustainability in member countries in key sectors such as energy, education, and transport

Projects worth US $403mn have been approved by the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) in its member countries including Egypt, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to help boost their infrastructure. One of the key projects given the greenlight was $344.5mn in financing for Phase I of the Electric Express Train Project in Egypt.

According to IsDB, the project is being implemented to provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all by developing a 660km sustainable, green, and climate-resilient electric express railway system. The project is expected to benefit 25m people annually and decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by approximately 250,000t of CO2 annually.

The projects were approved by IsDB at its 350th board meeting in Jeddah. Chaired by IsDB President and Group Chairman Dr Muhammad Al Jasser, the meeting is said to have approved funds for projects that support socio-economic development and promote sustainability in member countries in key sectors such as energy, education, and transport.

Dr Al Jasser explained, “These transformative projects will have a significant impact on improving transportation, education, and energy, as well as promoting regional economic integration and addressing emergency situations. The IsDB Group remains committed to supporting its member countries in their pursuit of prosperity and resilience, particularly during these challenging times.”

In early February 2023, Drees & Sommer’s Stephan Degenhart said that infrastructure, healthcare and hospitality would drive GCC construction in 2023 and, in late March 2023, AD Ports signed a 30-year agreement with Egyptian authorities for a new seaport at Safaga.

The board also approved an additional financing of $13mn for the Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (CASA-1000) in the Republic of Kyrgyzstan. The bank had originally approved $50mn towards this project, which aims to meet the electricity demand in Afghanistan and Pakistan, through the establishment of cross-border energy exchange among four IsDB member countries as part of the bank’s regional economic integration strategy.

Once operational, the project will leverage efficient and environmentally friendly indigenous hydropower resources of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, creating conditions for sustainable electricity trade between Central and South Asia, said the statement from IsDB, the statement noted.

The third approved project is the National Education Development Strategy of Tajikistan being implemented in partnership with Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID). For this project, IsDB has approved financing worth $35mn and the contribution of ISFD is worth $10mn.

The project aims to improve the learning environment and facilitate system strengthening for the country’s sustainable implementation of an inclusive, competency-based education system.

The board members also deliberated on an emergency grant funding from the IsDB to provide support to Turkey and Syria in the aftermath of devastating earthquakes that struck both countries, the statement concluded.

In late March 2023, the African Development Bank approved a grant to boost Ghana’s use of renewable energy.

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