AfDB’s $150 Million Fund…
The African Development Bank (AfDB) said that by the end of 2021, the bank will provide nearly $500 million, of which $150 million will be used for African agricultural women.
The multilateral agency said in a statement that the fund would help women farmers work with the public and private sectors to develop alternative financial models to enable women farmers to obtain the finance and skills they need for a sustainable way to grow and improve.
According to the bank, “in sub-Saharan Africa, the funding gap for African women in the agricultural value chain is estimated at $15.6 billion. There is need for more responsive policy and regulatory framework so that countries can benefit from their contributions. “Providing financing channels for African women’s MSMEs is an important part of the Bank’s strategy for women entrepreneurs to establish an enabling business environment.”
Through its Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative, the Bank has pledged $5 billion in financing for women’s businesses on the African continent by 2026.
“In Ghana, for instance, a $20 million AFAWA project providing climate-resilient agricultural practices is expected to benefit 400 million women-led micro, small and medium enterprises through the Ghana Ecobank credit line. This support is accompanied by technical assistance and training in climate-resilient agricultural practices”.
On the eve of the UN food system summit in 2021, Dr Beth Dunford, the bank’s vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, in a speech in Rome highlighted that the gender gap in economic opportunities on the African continent is closing the heart of achieving development goals in future.
“The economic opportunity gap is not only critical for women’s empowerment, but also critical for the structural transformation of the African economy, especially GDP growth, poverty reduction and sustainable development,” she said.
Dunford participated in a panel meeting on gender equality and women’s empowerment in the food system. Sabrina Dhowre Elba, Goodwill Ambassador for the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and Dr Kawinzi Muiu, director of gender issues at the World Food Program, also joins her.
Representatives from more than 100 countries attended the summit, which aims to discuss the latest scientific and evidence-based methods of the food system.
Dunford reiterates the Bank’s commitment to empowering women in all sectors through its policies (such as the new Gender Strategy 2022-2025 and Feed Africa Strategy), which prioritize gender equality and sustainable outcomes to support all investments and sectorial dialogue actions.
“The bank is offering a roadmap for gender intervention over the next four years, with a focus on the agricultural sector, where women have greater business potential,” said the vice president.
She said the bank would support the UN Food System Summit to ensure gender equality in the food system. The summit will be held in September 2021 with the UN General Assembly in New York.
AfDB’s $150 Million Fund…