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The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group have approved a new Gender Equality Trust Fund (GETF) aimed at pushing forward gender equality and women’s empowerment across the continent.
Funded by donors, the GETF will support the delivery and scale-up of the Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) programme and promote gender transformative lending and non-lending operations. It is the first thematic fund on gender in the Bank Group’s history. The Fund will be established for an initial period of 10 years.
The Board also approved a Risk-Sharing Mechanism – an innovative financial instrument to de-risk women-empowered businesses, enhance their profile with banks and support them to grow and thrive as entrepreneurs.
Anchor investors in the GETF are the governments of France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
“It’s a great day for us as a Bank. It is a great day for the continent and the women of Africa as this facility provides innovative ways to tackle the access to finance challenges for African women business owners,” said African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina.
Vanessa Moungar, Bank Director, Gender, Women and Civil Society, described the approval as “the largest effort ever to bridge the gap in access to finance for women in Africa’s history” and said the Fund’s resources and the Risk-Sharing Mechanism would prioritize women’s economic empowerment and high-impact women’s initiatives.
Apart from the G7 donors and the Netherlands, other countries are showing strong interest in contributing to the initiative, including Rwanda and Sweden.
The Bank Group will continue to mobilize resources in order to unlock $5 billion worth of financing for women-empowered businesses in Africa.
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