Empowering women through, the Financial Index
Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank announced that they have a new tool to track the level of lending to women across the continent, at the panel discussions organised by the Initiative for Global Development (IGD) in New York, with the theme ‘empowering Women in conflict Zones in Africa’.
Adesina said this will be important for ensuring women get the critical financial help they need.
“The Women’s Financing Index, which is currently under development, will rate banks and financial institutions who apply for loans from us, against the amounts they have lent or are lending women,” he added.
He said institutions will be rated by their development impact, the rate and volume at which they lend to women and top institutions will be rewarded with referential financing terms from them.
The Bank through the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa aims to mobilise N$3 billion to bridge the financing gab for women on the continent.
Dr Hippolyte Fofack, Chief Economist of Afreximbank said its bison to promote intra-African trade was directly tied to the theme of providing women with credit. “Access to finance is at the root of development initiatives, that is why Afreximbank was created and our top goals include supporting African women in agri-processing to minimise post harvesting losses and acting as trade financing intermediaries,” he emphasised.
While, Denise Tshisekedi, First Lady of the Democratic Republic of Congo spoke of the disadvantaged position Congolese women held, where 50% to 80% of women work in farming, while only 30% have access to the formal work sector. “The biggest problem is conflict and displacement,” she emphasised.
It was also agreed by panellist that economically empowered women become politically empowered and that areas of conflict required greater flexibility to accommodate skill and education gaps. “Women need to get better organised through groups, women’s business groups and to build coalitions across groups, theretofore it is essential that women are heard and they need to be at the policy and decision making table,” they concluded.
Caption: Denise Tshisekedi, First Lady of the Democratic Republic of Congo.