The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group participated in the 15th General Assembly of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Standing Committee for Science and Technology (COMSTECH) held in Islamabad, Pakistan on 31 May – 1 June 2016. The meeting was preceded by the 30th Executive Committee meeting of COMSTECH on 30 May 2016.
The General Assembly meeting, chaired by the President of Pakistan, H.E. Mamnoon Hussain, was attended by The OIC Secretary General H.E. Iyad Madani, IDB Group President H.E. Dr, Ahmed Mohamed Ali, ministers and senior government representatives, OIC institutions and international institutions.
The theme and agenda of the meeting was ‘Cooperation in Science and Technology among Member States.’ Participants reviewed and discussed challenges, solutions and policy initiatives.
Transforming people’s lives
Dr. Mohamed Ahmad Ali, President of IsDB Group, led the Bank’s delegation to the meeting. He said the meeting was a “golden opportunity” to reinforce collaboration and cooperation in the domain of science and technology and innovation. He reiterated IsDB’s commitment to reinforce its efforts in this direction under the auspices of the COMSTECH.
“In today’s knowledge-based and innovation-driven world, scientific and technological advancement has become a prerequisite for the socio-economic development of our countries,” said Dr. Ali. “Indeed, advancement in science and technology and innovation dictates the pace with which the countries can scale up their socio-economic development and is a prime determinant in transforming people’s lives for the better.”
Dr. Ali thanked President Hussain, who is also the Chairman of COMSTECH, for his leadership in strengthening science and technology and innovation efforts and ensuring a prominent place for these areas in the development priorities of OIC member countries.
An important partnership
Dr. Ali said that the close cooperation between IsDB and COMSTECH will enable both institutions to achieve their shared visions and objectives of developing and applying science and technology for socio-economic development in OIC member countries. He assured meeting participants that IsDB Group will give its full support to implement the recommendations of the meeting.
COMSTECH has been a key strategic partner of IsDB. Both institutions share a long history of collaborative programs and activities. IsDB has cooperated with Inter-Islamic Networks established under the umbrella of COMSTECH. The Bank and COMSTECH, along with other partners, also worked together to prepare Draft-1 of the Green Technology Blueprint for OIC member countries, and on the Atlas of Islamic World Science and Innovation.
Supporting science, technology and innovation
IsDB has adopted a set of programs and interventions that cover the whole value chain of science, technology and innovation. For projects that support infrastructure of scientific institutions or technology-focused initiatives, the Bank uses it various modes of financing such as loans, leasing, installment sales and technical assistance loans and grants.
Examples of projects implemented since 2011 include Enhancing ICT Infrastructure and Supporting e-Government in The Gambia and Sierra Leone; Solar Rural Electrification Project in Mauritania; and Foundation Wind Energy Limited I and II in Pakistan.
IsDB has continued with its efforts aimed at capacity building of researchers and staff of scientific institutions. The Bank has well-established Technical Cooperation and Science and Technology programs. Under these programs, between 2011 and 2015, 126 operations were approved for a total amount of USD 4,261,500.