The African Development Bank commits $3 billion for women entrepreneurs

Access to funding is a challenge often cited by Africa’s women entrepreneurs, but this month the African Development Bank (AfDB) announced measures to help address this issue. The Bank is availing $3 billion to support women entrepreneurs across Africa in a bold recognition of their contribution to the economies in their countries, packaged as Affirmation Finance Action for Women. The announcement was made by AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina during the on-going AfDB annual meetings in Lusaka, Zambia. He told about 5,000 participants including heads of states and government who are discussing the social and economic development of Africa, that small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and cooperatives are taking centre stage as the future economic engine for the continent with women playing a critical role. This move sends a clear signal to the whole of Africa that women entrepreneurs are being seen as real economic drivers for growth and development, and that if supported properly they can fulfil their potential as business owners, brand builders, product creators and employers. That’s making a real impact.