Access to Finance for Women Will Narrow Global Hunger Gap – AfDB

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has said that access to finance for women will bolster inclusivity in Africa and narrow the global hunger gap.

Specifically, the Director-General, West Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery office of the bank, Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, said this in a telephone interview with NAN at the weekend.

Speaking, Akin-Olugbade noted that only 23 per cent of women have access to finance in Africa, adding that the bank, in partnership with its partners, had rolled out the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative to bridge the finance gap.

She said, “AFAWA is a pan-African initiative, in which we have gotten partners to join the project, and the objective is to bridge the $42 million financing gap. “We are going to leverage on a number of financial instruments to add advisory services to really ensure successful implementation of the projects that we are going to deploy.

“We are going to provide technical training for women entrepreneurs and managerial skills. We really believe that with some of these activities, working with the government to support legal, policy, and regulatory reforms will really help to reduce barriers to women in finance.

This is one of the initiatives that we need to bridge the finance gap women are facing.” Also, the DG informed that the project would have more than 300 women farmers-led organisations in the crops sector, and women cooperatives that would be linked to agriculture finance and digital platforms.

“We are going to have more than 300 women farmers-led organisations in the crops sector, and the women cooperatives will be linked to agriculture finance and digital platforms so that they will be able to market their agriculture products.

“This way, post-harvest losses can be reduced quickly. We are also in partnership with Ecobank in Ghana to change the agriculture landscape to transition women entrepreneurs into the formal sector,” she stressed.

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