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AfDB’s AFAWA to mobilize $5 billion in financing for African women-led businesses by 2026

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Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA), a pan-African initiative of the African Development Bank has said that its goal is to mobilize $5 billion in financing for African women-led businesses by 2026.……CONTINUE READING>>>

The Director General for African Development Bank Nigeria Country Department, Lamin Barrow stated this during the fifth (5th) AFAWA Finance Series held in Lagos to unlock financing for women entrepreneurs.

What he said

Barrow said that the Bank’s AFAWA initiative seeks to increase women’s access to finance in the continent by closing the $42 billion financing gap for women-led small and medium enterprises.

“Our goal is to mobilize $5 billion in financing for African women-led businesses by 2026. Since we launched AFAWA a little over two years ago, the initiative has approved $1.2 billion for on-lending to women-led enterprises in 32 countries across Africa.

This conference will be followed by a 2-day training that will enable banks to introspect on their product and service offerings through a gender smart lens and therefore better address the needs of women entrepreneurs,” he said.

About the AFAWA Finance series

He noted that the AFAWA Finance Series is a component of the African Development Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative that brings together government representatives, policymakers, and financial institution leaders to offer an introduction to AFAWA’s partnership services for the Nigerian market.

Speaking during the opening ceremony on behalf of the Honourable Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, Grace Ogbonna, the Acting Permanent Secretary/Director Economic Research and Policy Management Department, Federal Ministry of Finance, said that:

“The topic of women’s empowerment demands our attention, our commitment, and our collective efforts to ensure that women have equal opportunities to fully participate in our nation’s economic growth.

Women constitute a substantial portion of our population and their full and equal participation in the economy is not just a matter of social justice but it is also one of economic parity.”

“The AFAWA Finance Series is also a showcase for the AFAWA Guarantee for Growth program, which offers a risk-sharing mechanism coupled with capacity development assistance to enable financial institutions to increase their appetite to lend to women SMEs.

Research shows women are better at repaying loans than men, and typically reinvest up to 90% of their income in the education, health and nutrition of their families and communities”.

African Guarantee Fund’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Jules Ngankam, said:

“In Africa, 70% of women are excluded financially, including in the areas of access to credit, land ownership, job opportunities, leadership positions, and wealth creation.

These imbalances have been one of the factors limiting Africa from reaching its full potential.”

He commended the government of Nigeria for taking steps in promoting women-led small and medium enterprises and noted that the AGF through the AFAWA initiative is eager to collaborate with the government and policymakers to further transform the environment to make it more conducive for women entrepreneurs.

The Lagos event, follows the AFAWA Finance Series in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, and Angola.

“In Nigeria, there is a real opportunity for scale. Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises make up more than three-quarters of Nigeria’s workforce,” said the bank Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Dr Beth Dunford.

“With the right support, they have the potential to accelerate the country’s progress towards its economic development goals,” Dunford added.

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