US$251mn package approved to support women entrepreneurs in Africa

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Early this week, French President, Emmanuel Macron and G7 leaders approved a US$251mn package to support women entrepreneurs in Africa alongside the African Development Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative.

The AFAWA initiative, aims to improve women’s access to financing through innovative and adapted financial instruments, including guarantee mechanisms to support women entrepreneurs.

President Emmanuel Macron – who currently holds the presidency of the G7 – made the announcement on Monday as a direct response to the demand to ease access to finance for women in Africa.

Macron is currently championing gender equality as a major theme of his five-year term.

“The AFAWA initiative, comes from an African organisation, the African Development Bank, which works with African guarantee funds and a network of African banks,” said Macron, who expressed that he is particularly proud of the programme that G7 is supporting.

African Development Bank’s President, Akinwumi Adesina commented on the announcement: “This is a great day for African women, investing in women entrepreneurs in Africa is important, because women are not only Africa’s future, they are Africa’s present.”

Adesina also applauded the “extraordinary support of all the G7 heads of state and government” believing it “will provide incredible momentum” to the AFAWA initiative.

Currently African women operate over 40% of SMEs in Africa. However, there is a financing gap of US$42bn to close. AFAWA is aiming to raise up to US$5bn to help achieve this alongside African Development Bank which will provide US$1bn. “This financing effort for women is the most significant in the continent’s history,” said Adesina.

Source: Business Chief – Africa

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