AFRICA – The African Development Bank (AfDB) through its Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative has secured US$251 million financial package to support women entrepreneurs.

The financial commitment was revealed during this years G-7 summit, Held in in Biarritz, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France.

 The 2019 G7 summit held in Biarritz, France, committed to boost women entrepreneurs in Africa through AFAWA, a joint initiative of African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Guarantee Fund (AGF) with French President Emmanuel Macron announcing the move.

Led by the president of France President Emmanuel Macron, who is also the current G7 president, leaders recognised the programs support in empowering women as major drivers for economic transformation.

The risk-sharing mechanism used by AFAWA is a practical approach to international commitments.

It is a direct response to the demand by women to ease access to financing, specifically on the need to establish a financing mechanism for women’s economic empowerment, adopted during a summit of African heads of state in 2015 and assigned to the African Development Bank for implementation.

Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo who is also the programme’s ambassador said that African women are the backbone of the continent and that AFAWA was “essential to our continent.”

ADB’s president Akinwumi Adesina applauded the “extraordinary support of all the G7 heads of state and government, which will provide incredible momentum” to the AFAWA programme.

“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 said.

He added that Currently, women operate over 40% of Small and Medium Enterprises in Africa, but a financing gap of $42 billion exists between male and female entrepreneurs.

The move has been hailed by AGF Group Chief Executive Officer Felix Bikpo who also acknowledged the AfDB for spearheading the initiative.

He applauded the G7 leadership for recognising the role of women as the backbone of the continent’s growth.