The African Development Bank (AfDB) has unveilled the names of the first women beneficiaries of the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) Guarantee for Growth Programme. This is in commemoration of this year’s International Women’s Day.
A press statement that was obtained by Business Elites Africa noted that AFAWA is an innovation aimed at unlocking as much as $3 billion worth of loans to fund women-led businesses in Africa.
While shedding more light on the unveiling, the AfDB’s Director for Women, Gender and Civil Society, Vanessa Maoungar, said: “The African Development Bank has mobilized its resources, and the support of its global partners, in what is to date, our most ambitious effort ever to change the landscape on access to finance for African women entrepreneurs.”
The statement by the AfDB further disclosed that the first participants in the AFAWA Guaranty for Growth Programme include the following African businesswomen:
- Catherine Mumbua Wanjoya, the founder of a company manufacturing biodegradable and affordable sanitary towels, and waste incinerators.
- Terry Mungai, the CEO of a beauty and hair care franchise institution.
- Mbuaya Kalenga Mdhy, who heads a semi-industrial sewing company.
- Bijour Esther Monga Ilunga Kazadi, a hotelier.
Note that the beneficiaries are currently participating in an online panel event which was co-organized by AFAWA and the African Guarantee Fund. Under the theme Women entrepreneurs: key drivers of economic growth, the virtual session centers on how the AFAWA Guarantee for Growth program works with financial institutions to address the financial and non-financial needs of African women entrepreneurs. The panel will also offer participants access to finance, create technical assistance, as well as enable an environment that promotes policy changes and regulatory reforms.
This is in tandem with AFAWA Guarantee for Growth programme’s aim of encouraging financial institutions to increase their appetite to lend to African businesswomen. The programme also aims to de-risks women entrepreneurs and enhance financial institutions’ appetite in lending to SMEs. It is supported by G7 countries as well as the Netherlands and Sweden.
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