The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has reiterated it’s commitment towards supporting women-led enterprises on the continent. The bank in a statement on its website said it would provide grants to small businesses to ensure this was achieved.
”The AfDB’s Gender Equality Trust Fund(GETF) will provide a 950,000 dollars grant to the Africa Small and Medium Enterprise Business Linkages (SMEBL) Programme in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger.
”The grant, which will supplement an earlier 3.9 million dollars financing grant from the Bank’s Transition Support Facility, is expected to bolster 1,400 women-led enterprises. ”It will also contribute to the region’s economic resilience and social cohesion,” it said.
According to the statement, the GETF supports the delivery and scaling of the bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa, (AFAWA) programme. It explained that AFAWA aimed to close the $42 billion gender financing gap for women-led African enterprises by promoting gender-transformative lending and non-lending operations.
The AfDB’s Director for Gender, Women and Civil Society, Malado Kaba, expressed the bank’s excitement in impacting over a thousand women entrepreneurs across the Sahel region, through this programme.
“We believe one key to building resilient African societies is the inclusion of women in economic development. ”The programme’s wide range of business-related training and coaching, in addition to increasing access to finance will go a long way toward reaching that goal,” she added.