Sunday 22, May 2016

Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), Abu Dhabi’s international development body, today announced the launch of a brand new, innovative training and support programme in electricity and water management in partnership with the Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA) for the rapidly expanding Seychelles energy and infrastructure sectors. The programme will provide a platform of learning and knowledge exchange for the Public Utilities Corporation in the Seychelles to work more efficiently and to optimise the utilisation of their resources to meet the rising demand for water, electricity and sanitation services in the country’s islands; areas in which FEWA are global experts.
The launch of this programme represents the continuation of the close relationship between the UAE and the Seychelles. ADFD has been supporting the socio-economic progress of the Seychelles with a number of initiatives in the energy, housing, transport and infrastructure sectors and this initiative will make sure maximum benefit is derived from these projects. To date some 225m AED has been granted across 11 projects.
H.E Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said “International development is not just about delivering projects on the ground but ensuring they have maximum impact when they are established to make a meaningful difference on the ground. We are delighted to be working in partnership with FEWA and representatives of the Seychelles to continue our support for the economic and structural development of the Seychelles, reflecting our focus on infrastructure as the basic building blocks of strong and prosperous societies. We believe that by supporting the knowledge-capacity of the islands infrastructure, utility and energy sectors, we are able to help build, through collaboration, stronger and more sustainable economies. Ensuring communities are empowered to take this initiative will provide enhanced opportunities for future growth.”
The programme will leverage the experience of ADFD in development matters and the specialist know how of FEWA in utility matters across the Emirates, providing a new knowledge sharing programme that represents cutting-edge thinking in international development support. In doing so, it is expected that the initiative will help improve the efficiency of employees in the civic service sector, especially those working in public service domains from a technical, administrative and financial perspective. The programme will run over several days with the first cadre focusing on water plants, including production and maintenance, water transmission and storage, GIS systems, electricity grid management, touching on surveillance and control systems, maintenance of power and water grids, smart meter discussions and general utility project management.
“The continued commitment of the UAE to the development of the Seychelles is most welcome. Over the years ADFD has played an important role in supporting the Seychelles’ growth agenda and has always helped us with our energy and urbanisation challenges. This new programme will be part of the next stage of our socio-economic development, one that gives the knowledge and skills necessary for our local communities to be empowered to help us meet and go beyond our future energy and infrastructure needs and I thank ADFD and the UAE for their ongoing assistance in our development agenda,” said H.E Didier Dogley, Minister for Environment, Energy & Climate Change.
Mr. Adnan Nasib Salem, Actg. Director General of FEWA, said that FEWA is happy to participate in the co-operation existing between UAE and Seychelles, particularly in water and power sectors. For this purpose, FEWA prepared a technical support and training program, in participation with “Tanqia Company”, to improve capabilities of staff of Public Utilities Company in Seychelles which will be financed by Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.
Mr. Salem also said that this co-operation between the two sides started in 2014 when FEWA was delegated by UAE Govt. to visit Seychelles and study infrastructure, particularly water, electricity, and sewage utilities in co-operation with “Tanqia Company’ in order to prepare a report about these utilities an set up an emergent technical plan to enable these sectors to carry on with their activities and to enhance economical development in Seychelles.
The acting Director General of FEWA added that he hopes this training program will achieve its objectives and contribute with Abu Dhabi Fund for Development efforts to push economical development in Seychelles and improve performance of workers in water and electricity sectors in that friendly country.
H.E Dick Patrick Esparon, Ambassador of Seychelles to the UAE, said ”The Abu Dhabi Development Fund projects are key to the prosperity and wellbeing of the people of Seychelles. This project will have a direct impact on the lives of the ordinary inhabitants. The training will increase our human capital and indirectly improve the lives of their families. For that we are very grateful. It will also help sustain the infrastructure of our country. The UAE government and the ADDF model of assistance have shown a level of generosity and nuance that should serve as a model for other development assistance worldwide.”
The announcement of today’s training scheme is the next crucial step to making development projects more effective by giving the beneficiary countries the skills to run and operate these energy projects which can act as a catalyst for further socio-economic development. There is also the opportunity for greater trading and economic links between the two countries as the economies both expand thanks to increased investment in infrastructure.
Projects supported by ADFD in the Seychelles include housing, healthcare, agriculture, telecommunications, clean water, land reclamation, roads and energy. Major energy schemes include the building of a wind farm on the island of Mahe, comprising of eight aero-generators generating 6MW of clean electricity. Future schemes under consideration are a new transmission system and the implementation of electricity generation plant on Praslin through the construction of new power stations and supporting infrastructure. On Perserverance Island 2000 new residential units have been built, creating a new town with world-class utilities, roads, parks, schools, hospitals and public amenities.
Globally, the ADFD is a leading international development agency, supporting close to 500 projects worth 75bn dirhams in nearly 80 countries across the globe and is pioneering a number of new approaches to international development, particularly in energy such as through its $350m funding facility for renewable energy schemes in the developing world in partnership with IRENA.