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AfDB’s financial inclusion facility gets $15m to improve women’s access to finance

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AfDB to receive $61.8m from 'We-Fi' for women empowerment programme in Africa

The African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Africa Digital Financial Inclusion (ADFI) facility will receive 15 million dollars to develop and extend digital financial solutions to women-owned small and medium businesses in Africa.

The bank on its website, on Wednesday, said that Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) said the new round of funding would be given to the facility for the entrepreneurs.

The bank said that women entrepreneurs from Nigeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya and Mozambique would benefit from the fund.

It also said the funds would enable the ADFI facility to design and implement programmes to improve digital access to finance for women entrepreneurs.

The bank noted that the fund would also reduce the 42 billion dollars gender finance gap and improve women’s operational efficiency to build back better, following the COVID-19 crisis.

Mr Stefan Nalletamby, the Director of the Financial Sector Development Department of AfDB, said that digital financial solutions were key to improving the quality of life of people in Africa.

”This funding, which is complementary to the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative, will be used to provide an avenue for their increased economic empowerment and resilience,” Nalletamby said.

The bank quoted Barbel Kofler, the Parliamentary State Secretary of Germany’s Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, as saying that We-Fi’s fourth round of allocation came at a crucial time.

”Women’s economic empowerment is under pressure due to conflict and insecurity, rising prices and the continuous fallout from the COVID pandemic around the world,” Kofler said.

It was reported that We-Fi, founded in October 2017 with Secretariat housed in the World Bank in Washington DC, harnesses the public and private sectors to open new doors for women entrepreneurs across the developing world.

The initiative supports women entrepreneurs by scaling up access to financial products and services, building capacity, expanding networks, offering mentors, and providing opportunities to link with domestic and global markets.

We-Fi works with six multilateral development banks as implementing partners: AfDB, Asian Development Bank and Inter-American Development Bank.

Others are European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Islamic Development Bank and the World Bank Group (including IFC).

Ginika Okoye

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