The 2019 G7 Summit held in Biarritz comes with great news for Women Entrepreneurs in Africa. G7 leaders led by President Macron of France have committed to support the AFFIRMATIVE FINANCE ACTION FOR WOMEN IN AFRICA (AFAWA) initiative with more than USD 200M.
AFAWA which is a joint initiative of the African Development Bank and African Guarantee Fund is a risk-sharing facility that will de-risk lending to women through AGF’s partial guarantees to financial institutions and its capacity development to women entrepreneurs to adequately prepare them for easier access to finance.
AFAWA takes a holistic approach based on boosting access to finance for women-owned and women-led businesses; strengthening the capacity of women entrepreneurs and financial institutions; and mobilising and supporting African governments to enact the legal, political and regulatory reforms needed for the development of women’s entrepreneurship.
While speaking at the press conference on the AFAWA program, President Macron stated, “I am particularly proud, as the current G7 president, that the programme we are supporting today, the AFAWA initiative, comes from an African organisation, the African Development Bank, which works with African Guarantee Fund and a network of African banks.”
AFDB’s President, Akinwumi Adesina hailed AGF’s exceptional rating and extensive network of African financial institutions as a major pillar of success for AFAWA. He emphasized that the initiative will go a long way in reducing the USD 42 billion financing gap between men and women in the continent.
AGF Group CEO, Felix Bikpo has acknowledged AFDB for spearheading the initiative and applauded the G7 leadership for recognizing the importance of women as the backbone of the continent’s growth.
Mr. Bikpo stated, “AGF’s strategy recognizes women as a great pillar of the development of African economies and has always focused on increasing access to finance for women. In fact, 30% of the SMEs supported by AGF are owned or led by women. Through AFAWA, our role in financing women will be reinforced to enable even more women fully play their role as drivers of economic growth through the SMEs they own or lead.”
The official launch of AFAWA will be held in the coming months.