UAE, Israel export credit agencies to support healthcare project in Ghana

Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI) has joined hands with Israel Export Insurance Corp (ASHRA), with ECI providing buyer’s credit guarantees to the funding bank for a Dhs540m healthcare project in Ghana.

The project comprises the construction of a new general regional hospital in Tema, the largest port city in Ghana, which will function as a secondary referral center with teaching facilities. It also includes a new primary level facility at Nkoranza with specialized services, an accident and emergency center to augment services within an existing hospital at Dormaa, and a redeveloped medical store and mechanical workshop in Accra.

The agreement, signed in Tel Aviv recently, is related to the first public-private partnership (PPP) project between the UAE and Israel after the signing of the historic Abraham Accords in September 2020.

The agreement not only brings together both countries’ export credit agencies, but also Ghana’s Ministry of Finance; EDC International, an Israel engineering and construction company, and Israel Discount Bank. It also sets the stage for broader economic and trade partnerships following another historic milestone – the signing of the UAE-Israel Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

The Ministry of Health of Ghana awarded the contract to EDC International, which has a presence in the UAE. The company will execute the project’s second phase with a total value of Dhs406m, which is expected to provide ease of access to advanced medical facilities for several thousands of Ghanaian citizens.

Under the agreement, ECI and ASHRA will co-guarantee the financing facility offered by IDB to the Ministry of Finance of Ghana, which will pay EDC International to construct the hospitals. ECI will provide Dhs185m in reinsurance coverage, accounting for 49 per cent of the total coverage offered for the second phase of the project.

By partnering with ASHRA on this project, Etihad Credit Insurance has also generated Dhs185m worth of economic activity through exports and re-exports of products and services from the

The export credit agencies have also discussed opportunities for future collaboration with IDB in order to help the UAE and Israeli companies win more joint international projects.

Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade and deputy chairman of ECI’s Board of Directors, said: “ECI’s efforts will help to boost momentum from our recently signed trade deal with Israel and unlock new trade and investment opportunities across the Middle East, Africa and beyond. In the first quarter of 2022 itself, the total value of non-oil trade between the UAE and Israel exceeded the $1bn mark, and there’s much more room to grow.”

Massimo Falcioni, CEO of ECI, said. “We’re delighted to collaborate with ASHRA to finance several healthcare projects in Ghana. Advanced hospitals and proper medical storage facilities are critical to providing high-level patient care in the post-pandemic era. UAE’s collaboration with Israel reflects both countries’ joint objective to further improve people’s lives across the globe by providing them with better healthcare facilities through project financing backed by state ECAs.”

Nissim Ben Eli, CEO of ASHRA, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with ECI after a corporation agreement was signed between ASHRA and ECI in 2020 to boost the trade between the two countries. It is a milestone project for both countries to work together to improve the healthcare sector in Ghana, and we look forward to more collaborative projects with the export credit agency of the UAE in the near future.”

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