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ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopian Airlines says it wants to nearly double its fleet to 150 aircraft by 2025. In June the carrier ordered six more B787 Dreamliners at a cost of US$1.3 billion.

Ethiopian CEO Tewolde GebreMariam is reported as saying the company is evaluating Boeing 777-X, Airbus 350-1000 and Bombardier Q400 aircraft and considering earlier deliveries of 14 Airbus A350-900 on order.

The expansion plan announcement coincided with the Third UN Conference on Financing for Development in Addis hosted by the Ethiopian government and supported by Ethiopian Airlines.

Ethiopian 787Speaking at the conference Savas Alpay, chief economist of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), said the bank would be doubling development funds from US$80 billion to more than US$150 billion in the next 15 years in support of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

"Islamic finance has gained traction around the world in recent years," he said, adding that it could grow in parts of South America and Europe as well as markets in North America, Central Asia and Australia.

Islamic finance is a system that operates according to Islamic law, or sharia.

Headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the bank says it aims to foster the economic development and social progress of Muslim countries, as well as Muslim communities in non-member countries.

"The Islamic financial services industry has now supported many projects in the social, economic and environmental domains and it has great potential of being instrument in funding many components of the SDGs as well," explained Alpay.

Commenting on the outcome of the four-day conference, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said it was the first milestone in a critical year in which major decisions are also expected on the future sustainable development agenda and on climate change.

"The Addis Ababa Action Agenda is a major step forward in building a world of prosperity and dignity for all," Ban said in a statement.

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