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AfDB and African Guarantee Fund join forces for women’s financial inclusion in Nigeria 27-10-2023 08:00:00 | By: Marlene Mutimawase | Hits: 345 | tag:
The African Development Bank Group and the African Guarantee Fund presented a strong case to senior Nigerian government and banking leaders in Lagos for the positive impact of increasing women’s financial inclusion on the Nigerian economy.
The two institutions opened the AFAWA Finance Series Nigeria on 17 October, part of the African Development Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative. The inauguration ceremony was also attended by representatives of AFAWA donor countries, including the Netherlands, France and Italy.
The series of events will bring together representatives from government, policy makers and financial institutions to introduce AFAWA’s partnership services to the Nigerian market.
Grace Ogbonna, Director of Economic Research and Policy Management at the Ministry of Finance, spoke during the opening ceremony on behalf of Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Wale Edun. She said, “The subject of women empowerment is one that demands our attention, our commitment and our collective efforts to ensure that women get equal opportunities so that they can fully participate in the economic growth of our country “
Participants will explore ways to enhance regulatory frameworks that can promote access to finance for women-led small and medium enterprises. The event will also develop an understanding of AFAWA’s guarantee mechanism and how the program can help de-risk financial institutions that lend to women-led start-ups.
The event will also showcase the AFAWA Guarantee for Development Programme, which is a partnership between the African Development Bank and the programme’s implementing partner, the African Guarantee Fund. In 2021 the partners established this risk sharing facility to unlock up to $2 billion in financing for women-led small and medium enterprises in Africa through financial institutions.
“There are real opportunities for scale in Nigeria,” said Dr. Beth Dunford, vice president for agriculture, human and social development at the African Development Bank. “Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises make up more than three-quarters of Nigeria’s workforce. With the right support, Dunford said, they have the potential to accelerate progress toward the country’s economic development goals.
The AFAWA Guarantee for Development Program also provides support and incentives to financial institutions to increase their appetite for lending to women-led SMEs. Research shows that women are better at repaying loans than men, and typically reinvest up to 90% of their income into the education, health and nutrition of their families and communities.
Jules Ngankam, CEO of the African Guarantee Fund, said, “In Africa, 70% of women are financially excluded, including in the areas of access to credit, land ownership, job opportunities, leadership positions and wealth creation. “This imbalance has been one of the factors preventing Africa from reaching its full potential.”
She commended the Nigerian Government for promoting women-led small and medium enterprises and said that through AFAWA, the Fund looks forward to collaborating with government and policy makers to further enhance the business environment for women entrepreneurs. Is.
The Finance Series also provides training that will enable financial institutions to evaluate their products and services through a gender-smart lens to better address the needs of women entrepreneurs.
Lamin Barrow, African Development Bank Director-General for Nigeria, said, “Through AFAWA, the African Development Bank is changing the perception and narrative that women entrepreneurs are a risky investment. The Bank recognizes Nigeria’s immense potential for AFAWA-related activities. That’s why we’re partnering and supporting the private sector to expand women’s access to finance through innovative financing tools.