Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) participated in the inauguration of five colleges in Jordan, which were built with an ADFD funding of AED80.3 million (US$21.83m). The initiative is part of the Jordanian Public Universities Development Program that includes the implementation of 27 projects in the education sector at a total value of AED 466 million (US$126.87m) to boost the education sector.

ADFD funded projects in various strategic sectors such as energy, transport, water and agriculture, health, and education. These projects were financed from the AED4.6 billion ($1.25 billion) the UAE allocated to Jordan in 2012 as part of the Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND) to support the Jordanian government's efforts towards sustainable socioeconomic development.

The two buildings for the College of Commerce and the College of Engineering at Albayt University in Al Mafraq were built at a cost of about AED40 million (US$10.89m). A building for the Nursing College was also inaugurated, in addition to a project to construct and equip a building for the Energy Research and Studies Center at Al Hussein bin Talal University in the city of Ma'an. The projects are to be carried out at a total cost of AED22 million (US$5.99m). A building of the College of Pharmacy at Mu'tah University in Karak, which was developed at a cost of AED18.3 million (US$4.98m), was also inaugurated.

H.E. Nasser Al Shareeda, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation in Jordan, expressed his appreciation for the UAE and its leadership for their steadfast support for the Jordanian people and for their pioneering role in helping the Jordanian government achieve sustainable development.

He also thanked ADFD for funding and managing development grants, noting that these efforts helped enhance the efficiency of services offered to Jordanian people and accelerate economic development, and that the Kingdom considers ADFD as its key development partner. He also expressed his desire to boost their partnership with ADFD over development.

H.E. Shraideh emphasized the importance of the Public Universities Development Program in the development of Jordanian public universities, especially as it includes many projects that have had a clear impact on students and the local community, in addition to its role in establishing new colleges.

He said: “Since 1974, ADFD has financed strategic projects in Jordan. The financing was provided in the form of soft loans for these projects comprising sectors such as infrastructure, health, education, industry and mining, agriculture, irrigation, and renewable energy. The Abu Dhabi Fund is also managing the UAE’s grant to Jordan worth $1.25 billion to develop priority sectors in the Kingdom.”

H.E. Mohamed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, said: “ADFD has maintained strategic relations with the Jordanian government for more than four and a half decades, actively financing strategic projects to create positive impact on Jordan’s economy. They also played an important role in making available basic services, creating jobs and improving the standard of living.”

He added: “The establishment of the colleges through the ADFD-funded Public Universities Development Program reflect our keenness to advance Jordan’s education sector through construction of buildings, provision of facilities of international standards at universities, enabling more people to study in different disciplines, and fulfilling the requirements of the labour market.”

H.E. Khalifa Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Deputy Director General of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, said: “We are proud to participate in the inauguration of the five colleges, which will contribute to the development of Jordan’s education sector, and enable universities to achieve their goals to improve infrastructure, modernise education and meeting the need for educational institutions to accommodate increasing number of students in various disciplines. Additionally, the colleges will also play a key role in fulfilling market requirements for qualified and competent professionals.”

Presidents of many Jordanian universities stressed the importance of ADFD’s support that helped the education sector achieve its objectives.

Professor Dr. Hani Al Damour, President of Albayt University, said that the UAE’s grant disbursed through ADFD enabled the university to construct the buildings for the College of Commerce and College of Engineering. He stressed that both projects were implemented according to international standards and that they helped extend student capacity by 10,000. He also noted that the two projects, which occupy approximately 20,000 square metres of area, include many facilities such as classrooms, auditoriums and laboratories.

Professor Dr. Atef Al Kharabsheh, President of Al Hussein bin Talal University, said that ADFD’s funding has enabled the university to complete the second phase of its expansion, while the projects helped develop the university infrastructure, improve capabilities to better serve local communities as well as students and researchers.

Professor Dr. Arafat Awajan, President of Mu’tah University, noted that ADFD funded three colleges, in addition to the recently inaugurated College of Pharmacy building, all of which led the colleges to improvement their performance and obtain the Jordanian Quality Certificate, in addition to boosting academic standards and introducing master’s programmes in pharmaceutical sciences. The project consists of four floors covering an area of more than 10,000 square metres and contains many classrooms and laboratories, as well as three auditoriums.

Since 1974, ADFD has funded various strategic projects in Jordan with a total value of about AED 6.5 billion (US$1.77bn). These projects have enabled the Jordanian government to achieve its socioeconomic priorities and advance sustainable development.