AfDB Plans Fresh $500m Disbursement to Grow Women Businesses

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced plans to disburse another $500 million to further grow women businesses.

This was disclosed by the President of the AfDB, Mr Akinwumi Adesina, at the ongoing Finance in Common Summit in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

The third edition of the summit is co-organised by the bank and the European Investment Bank with a focus on Green and Just Transition for a Sustainable Recovery.

He said, “We must revitalise hope for women. That’s why the African Development Bank, with the strong support of the French government, the UK, the Netherlands, and Nordic countries, launched the Affirmative Finance Action for Women.

“I am delighted that last year we disbursed $534 million for women businesses, and this year we expect to disburse another $500 million dollars for women. Women run Africa, so when women win, Africa wins.”

Mr Adesina further said the bank planned to invest $10.5 billion in agriculture over the next five years.

“We’re looking forward to working together to help unlock the potential of Africa to feed itself and to help also feed the world,” he said.

The AfDB president also said the bank was driving the transformation of agriculture in Africa by supporting the establishment of special agro-industrial processing zones with $779 million, which has already commenced in 12 countries.

“I would like to especially thank our partners, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency and the Islamic Development Bank, who have provided 669 million dollars of co-financing towards the establishment of Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones in Africa.”

Furthermore, he spoke on what the bank was doing to revitalise hope for the youth.

“That’s why the African Development Bank is working together with Agence Française de Development to develop Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks.

“Together with other partners including African governments, African central banks, African financial institutions, the European Investment Bank, the European Union Commission, and the Mastercard Foundation.

“The Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks will be new financial institutions that will provide new financial ecosystems around the businesses of the youth across Africa.”

However, he said participants at the summit must keep working together to leverage investments to tackle development challenges and mobilise more financing globally and leverage private capital.

“We must work smarter. We must leverage. We must tilt private financing to complement all our efforts.

“We must reform and improve the effectiveness of global financial architecture to address the growing development challenges around the world financing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The AfDB president also spoke on the Africa Investment Forum scheduled to hold in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, in November.

“That’s what we are doing on the Africa Investment Forum, which has become Africa’s premier investment platform to attract private investments to Africa.

“Launched in 2018, the Africa investment forum has, in three years, helped to mobilise $110 billion in investment interests’ commitment to Africa.

“In March of this year, the Africa Investment Forum secured investors’ interest commitment for $16 billion to finance the Lagos-Abidjan Highway, which will transform the economies and trade within West Africa.

“That’s the power of working together.”

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