To support women-led businesses across Africa, the African Guarantee Fund and the African Development Bank Group have approved a $1.2 billion loan.
32 countries across the continent’s women entrepreneurs will benefit from this financial assistance.
At the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa, Finance Series event in Lagos on Tuesday, the news was made. The occasion intends to open up funding options for female business owners.
AFAWA’s partnership services for the Nigerian market are introduced in the AFAWA Finance Series, a part of an initiative by the African Development Bank that brings together executives from financial institutions, policymakers, and government officials.
Lamin Barrow, director general of the Nigeria Country Department of the African Development Bank, stated in his remarks that the AFAWA project of the Bank aims to expand women’s access to finance on the continent by bridging the $42 billion funding gap for women-led small and medium companies.
“By 2026, we want to mobilize $5 billion in finance for African enterprises run by women. The initiative has approved $1.2 billion for on-lending to women-led businesses in 32 countries throughout Africa since we established AFAWA a little more than two years ago,” he continued.
The Federal Ministry of Finance’s Acting Permanent Secretary/Director of Economic Research and Policy Management Department, Grace Ogbonna, made the following statement during the opening ceremony on behalf of the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun: “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.”
Jules Ngankam, the chief executive officer of the African Guarantee Funds Group, stated that 70% of women in Africa are financially excluded, particularly in the areas of credit access, land ownership, employment prospects, leadership positions, and wealth generation. One of the things preventing Africa from realizing its full potential has been these disparities.
In addition, he noted that the AGF, through the AFAWA initiative, is eager to work with the government and policymakers to further transform the environment to make it more hospitable for women entrepreneurs. He commended the Nigerian government for taking steps to promote women-led small and medium enterprises.