USAID Launches Its New Five-year Program in Aqaba

29 January 2008

Under the patronage of USAID and in the presence of Mr. Jay Knott, the USAID Mission Director, H.E. Arch. Husni Abu Ghaida, Chief Commissioner of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), and numerous officials, community business and NGO leaders, Aqaba celebrated the launch of the new USAID-funded Aqaba Community and Economic Development Program. The event took place in the Intercontinental Hotel on January 29, 2008.


The Aqaba Community and Economic Development Program is a five-year program that aims to raise the capacities of the businesses and people in Aqaba, in order to have more effective roles in and benefit from the huge economic development and mega projects that are becoming a part of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone (Zone).

H.E. Chief Commissioner addressed the attendees and expressed his expectations that this program will be a major role player to aid the local community and business in Aqaba to seize opportunities and assure job placements in the coming projects. He also said, “I look forward to continued joint success between USAID, ASEZA and all of you as representatives and leaders of the Zone, as we move forward in this time of dynamic and unprecedented growth for the area, seeking to match the rapid changes coming to the zone with rapid, newly-skilled and committed responses from our citizens and our businesses.”

In his speech the USAID Mission Director, Mr. Jay Knott, highlighted the long history of USAID assistance in the Zone, and specifically to ASEZA, announcing the newest assistance project, the Aqaba Community and Economic Development Program, which will have strong emphasis on the people and businesses of the Zone, while continuing assistance to ASEZA.

Mr. Knott added, ”I am pleased to represent the US government in its continuing commitment to ASEZA, Aqaba and all the people and businesses in the Zone, as Aqaba, being Jordan’s only seaport, is a strategic and significant contributor to the economic success of Jordan as a whole, and a model of stability in the region.”

The Aqaba Community and Economic Development Program team was introduced to the attendees, in addition to a detailed presentation that outlined the major focus points of the program.

The program is a five-year program operating in Aqaba that will work through three major components that will function in the areas of strengthening government institutions, strengthening the private sector and enhancing community development. These areas are supported b various program resources and technical assistance, using enhanced communications and engagement strategies, including the promotion of gender equity.