AfDB Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa Reaches $1Bln in Funding

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A woman takes a selfie with her phone at sunset on the outskirts of Harare, Tuesday, May, 24, 2022. Zimbabwe joins the rest of Africa in commemorating Africa Day, the commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity on 25 May 1963.InternationalIndiaAfricaIn December 2022, the African Development Bank Group’s concessional window, the African Development Fund, vowed to provide Africa’s lowest-income countries with $8.9 billion. Now, the bank’s special initiative aimed at women is also said to have made achievements.Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) by the African Development Bank (AfDB) has reached $1 billion in approved funding. The money is designated for lending to African businesswomen, who play a key role in the continent’s agriculture by running the majority of small and medium-sized enterprises in the sector.

"I am incredibly proud of AFAWA's financing achievement. AFAWA's benchmark reminds us that when we invest to grow Africa's food systems, we must also invest in Africa's women agripreneurs," said Dr. Beth Dunford, the AfDB's vice president for agriculture, human, and social development.

AfricaDevelopment, Innovation & Economy: How Far Has Africa Progressed in 2022? 30 December 2022, 14:24 GMTThe AFAWA initiative was launched during the Dakar 1 Africa Food Summit 2015 with the goal “to bridge the $42 billion financing gap facing women in Africa”.The program seeks to achieve $5 billion in lending for women by 2026. For this, the AFAWA has established a Guarantee Mechanism aimed at de-risking the women’s market and increasing financial institutions’ ability to lend to businesswomen.

"AFAWA's approved lending reaches across 27 countries, and through 56 financial institutions. Already 4,115 women business owners have benefited from AFAWA financing instruments. This is just the beginning," underlined Malado Kaba, director of the AfDB's Gender, Women and Civil Society Department.

She added that in 2023, the bank would continue to cooperate with its partners “to accelerate their ability to lend to women-led micro and small enterprises.”The African Development Bank’s history began in 1964, when it was founded in by the Organization of African Unity, the precursor to the African Union. The mission of the institution is to contribute to the continent’s economic development, improve living conditions and fight poverty through promotion of investment of public and private capital.

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