AfDB Launches Mapping Project For Women Entrepreneurs’ Associations

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has launched a project for the purposes of mapping 160 women entrepreneurs’ associations in 16 African countries.

The mapping project, supported by the Bank Group’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative and Gender Equality Trust Fund (GETF), aims to strengthen the associations’ visibility, improve their institutional capacities, and facilitate their access to financing.

By supporting this initiative, the Bank has taken an important step in its commitment to supporting African women entrepreneurs, promoting women’s economic empowerment and boosting inclusive growth in Africa.

In her opening speech at the event where the mapping project for women entrepreneurs was launched in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, the bank’s Vice-President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Dr. Beth Dunford, said the initiative further attested to the bank’s commitment to inclusivity and transparency in all its operations.

Dunford, who officially launched the initiative, enthused: “The African Development Bank’s Action Plan for Engaging with Civil Society 2024-2028 illustrates our commitment to inclusivity, transparency and accountability.”
The AfDB’s head of the Civil Society and Community Engagement Division, Zeneb Touré, described. The associations of women entrepreneurs as “catalysts for reforms and innovations that support female entrepreneurship and facilitate women’s access to the economic resources they need to realize their full potential.”

In her remarks, the representative of the SEPHIS Foundation, which facilitates access to bank funding for women-led SMEs in sub-Saharan Africa, Ms. Dagou Yvonne Nivine Gadji, projected that the associations identified for the mapping project would be “catalysts for reforms, a boost to women’s empowerment and a crucible for building the capacity of several other networks of women entrepreneurs.”

Similarly, President of the Federation of Women Entrepreneurs Organizations in Central Africa (FOF-AC), Jacqueline Tientcheu, said:  “We are truly concerned about the issue of access to funding. However, it’s very difficult in Africa, because most women don’t have a guarantee for raising the funds they need.

“There are microfinance organizations that support women, but their interest rates are very high. We think that the AFAWA programme, through the Gender Equality Trust Fund (GETF), can help us”, Tientcheu added.

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