French President Emmanuel Macron and G7 leaders on Sunday approved a package totalling $251 million in support of the African Development Bank’s AFAWA initiative to support women entrepreneurs in Africa.
“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 funds and a network of African banks,” Macron stated at a press conference at the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France.
“African women are the backbone of the continent. I’m thrilled to bring their voice to the G7. AFAWA is essential for our continent,” said Beninese artist Angelique Kidjo, a guest at the press conference in her role as programme ambassador.
The Bank’s president Akinwumi Adesina applauded the “extraordinary support of all the G7 heads of state and government, which will provide incredible momentum” to the AFAWA programme.
“This is a great day for African women,” Adesina said. “Investing in women entrepreneurs in Africa is important, because women are not only Africa’s future, they are Africa’s present”.
“Currently, women operate over 40% of SMEs in Africa, but there is a financing gap of $42 billion between male and female entrepreneurs. This gap must be closed, and quickly,” he added.