Women entrepreneurs across Africa have continued to suffer insufficient funds with an estimated $42b financing gap that has crippled their noble business ideas.
The President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, who disclosed this at Access Bank’s International Women’s Day Conference in Lagos, implored financial institutions across Africa to work towards bridging the gap.
Adesina stated that there was need for banks to create tailored products to cater for the needs of women that would de-risk financing to women and women-led businesses.
However, he noted that women who own businesses are on the rise across the continent, contributing significantly to job creation and economic growth.
“In fact, nine out of 10 women pay back their loans, a truly extraordinary number and this shows that women are bankable.
It is, however, bewildering that women in Africa continue to face a $42b financing gap in Africa.
“All financial institutions in Africa and indeed globally should have well-designed programmes and instruments for lending to women,” he said, adding that that AfDB is taking bold steps to rectify the situation.
The Group Head, W Initiative, Access Bank, Ms. Abiodun Olubitan, stated that the W’ initiative which was tailored to supporting women gave out N40.5b in loans last year and targets to do over N100b in 2023.
The Managing Director of Access Corporation, Herbert Wigwe, said: “Today, we’re moving several more levels in our progress. We are not only embracing the notion of gender equality, and equal opportunities, but we are also celebrating individual differences and the need to adjust our resources, our systems, and approaches to cater to this.”