The African Development Bank (AfDB) launched an initiative officially on Monday to bridge the 42-billion-U.S.-dollar financing gap facing women entrepreneurs in Africa.
The initiative, dubbed Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA), was jointly launched by the AfDB and African Guarantee Fund to cover the potential losses of African financial institutions lending money to women entrepreneurs, said AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina at the 4th Global Gender Summit in Kigali.
AFAWA is one of the Bank’s flagship gender-focused programmes which seeks to accelerate growth and employment creation across African economies, by closing the financing gap for women.
“A smarter world must invest in women and girls. Let’s be smart and let’s be wise. Women are the best investment any society can make,” said Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, head African Development Bank Group.
This risk-sharing project will encourage financial institutions to lend to women-led businesses and reduce burdensome collateral requirement, said Adesina.
The AFAWA will leverage G7 donor resources to generate up to 3 billion dollars’ new lending to women entrepreneurs across Africa over the next five years, he added.
“The government of Rwanda fully supports this initiative and is ready to work with the AfDB to make AFAWA a success,” said Uzziel Ndagijimana, Rwanda’s minister of finance and economic planning.
Rwanda is committed to contributing 1 million dollars in support of AFAWA, he said.
“The government of Rwanda fully supports this initiative and is ready to work with the Bank to make AFAWA a success,” Rwandan Minister of Finance Uzziel Ndagijimana, said.
Ambassador Wolters said the Netherlands would soon announce a significant contribution to AFAWA.