AfDB (the Africa Development Bank) has announced plans to provide $5 billion over the next five years, a move that seeks to see women enterprises in the continent scale up their businesses.
According to the bank, the 1st pillar contained in its Gender Strategy 2021-2025 which has since been approved by its board, will ensure women entrepreneurs benefit from enhanced credit access and technical assistance in business model development, financial and business planning, seeking to transform them into productive and competitive enterprises.
AfDB will also dedicate efforts to creating opportunities for women in the non-financial sectors.
The second pillar aims to increase opportunities for women in the labour force, i.e., in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields (STEM), while leveraging technology to enhance access to skills and information.
On the other hand, the third pillar targets to increase women’s access to social services through infrastructure by influencing gender-responsive quality infrastructure development to ensure women have adequate access and positively benefit from infrastructure projects as workers, stakeholders, and end-users.
A recent study based on a survey with over 1,300 women entrepreneurs across 30 African countries, jointly published by AfDB, UN Women and Impact Her, revealed that 80% of women-owned small and medium enterprises had to temporarily or permanently shut down their businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic restrictions.