Countries in the G7 have pledged to support African women entrepreneurs with $251 million in venture funding.
The G7 is made up of France, United States of America, United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, Germany and Japan.
Herald Nigeria learnt that the funding will be provided through AFAWA (Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa), a programme by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Announcing the funding at a press conference at the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France, French president, Emmanuel Macron, said, “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.”
Commenting on the funding, Akinwumi Adesina, the AfDB president, said: “This is a great day for African women. 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.
“This financing effort for women is the most significant in the continent’s history.”
AFAWA is hoping to raise $5 billion for African women entrepreneurs and the African Development Bank will provide $1 billion.