AfDB & AFI Renew Partnership to Support Women-led Businesses in Africa

By: GWL Team | Tuesday, 19 September 2023

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) renewed their relationship to promote women-led small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) in Africa at the 2023 AFI Global Policy Forum in Manila. For the next four years, the extended agreement will focus on legislative and regulatory improvements for these sectors.

The African Development Bank's Gender Equality Trust Fund will contribute over $4 million in grant financing for the initiative, which aims to explore potential for policy and regulatory reform to promote access to credit. This programme will entail research in 13 more African nations, as well as close collaboration with politicians, financial regulators, and other stakeholders to put these changes into action.

Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA), the AfDB's flagship project, will work with AFI to close the financing gap for African women entrepreneurs. Malado Kaba, AfDB's Director for Gender, Women, and Civil Society, expressed enthusiasm for this collaboration and the possibility for gender-sensitive policy and regulatory reforms that will benefit women entrepreneurs throughout the continent.

Despite having the world's greatest ratio of female entrepreneurs, Dr. Alfred Hannig, Executive Director of AFI, emphasised the significance of eliminating the funding gap for women SMEs in Africa. This collaboration intends to alter our knowledge of how to handle this problem.