Amaechi Ogbonna and Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Washington DC
The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, has disclosed that the bank, in a bid to hold financial institutions on the continent accountable, is launching the women financing index for Africa in which all financial institutions will be rated based on their lending to women.
Adesina was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the 2019 IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings in Washington DC.
He also said the bank has been able to mobilise $3 billion through Affirmative Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA), for businesses for women on the continent, as well as $75 million through the Alitheia Identity Fund, to support growth capital for the businesses for women.
“We are supporting women. I think when Africa gets the issue of women right, it can get everything right. And so, there is the issue of financing that we provide through Affirmative Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA), that will help to mobilize $3 billion for businesses for women on the continent,” Adesina said.
“The other one is that we actually supported another fund which is called the Alitheia Identity Fund, which has just closed at $75 million and that is to support growth capital for the businesses for women. So, in other words, the small, medium and the large businesses for women are what we are supporting.
“Finally, I will like to see financial institutions in Africa being held fully accountable when it comes to financing women. And so the bank will be launching what we called the women financing index for Africa in which all financial institutions in Africa will be rated based on their lending to women. Both in terms of the volume of lending and the in terms of the lending and in terms of their development impact for women.
“So, those who lend more to women will get more resources at a more discounted rate from the bank, so you can lend more and have more impact.
“So, we are focused on how we can drive investments for women.”
Adesina said the bank last August was able to raise $251 million in support of the AfDB’s AFAWA initiative to support women entrepreneurs in Africa from the G7 leaders with the help of French President Emmanuel Macron.
The amount was raised at the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France.