Home Business AfDB, UN Women strengthen collaboration to advance women’s economic empowerment

AfDB, UN Women strengthen collaboration to advance women’s economic empowerment

by Business News Report

A day ahead of the African Development Bank Group’s Annual Meetings, the institution teamed up with UN Women to host a side event showcasing both organisations’ achievements to drive women’s economic empowerment across Africa. The side event was held Sunday 26 May under the theme, The Future of Finance and Women’s Economic Empowerment. It drew leaders and representatives from the public and private sector, civil society organisations and financial institutions. The session included welcome remarks from Anne Wang’ombe, Principal Secretary, State Department for Gender and Affirmative Action, in the Kenyan Ministry of Gender, Culture, the Arts and Heritage, a keynote address from  Harrieth Chiggai, Women Rights Advisor to the president of Kenya, and remarks from Nnenna Nwabufo, African Development Bank’s Director General for East Africa.

This event marks a significant milestone in the collaboration between the Bank and UN Women as they join forces to address the economic disparities faced by women on the continent.  UN Women announced that the Bank would become part of the UN Women-led HeForShe Alliance, a group of ambitious leaders from across government, business, non-profit and academia standing in solidarity with women to create a bold, visible and united force for gender equality. UN Women also announced that African Development Bank Group president Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina is to be named a UN Women HeForShe Champion later this year. The honor recognizes his leadership in advocating for gender equality in Africa.

“The Bank is committed to implement policies that promote gender equality, eliminate gender-based violence, as well as discrimination across Africa. We must listen and amplify the voices of women, while ensuring that Africa’s women have equal opportunity. Empowering African women is a moral imperative – as well as smart economics,” said Dr. Beth Dunford, Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development, African Development Bank Group in her remarks. Through presentations from its partners, the Bank showcased the work undertaken in line with its Ten-Year Strategy 2024-2033 and its Gender Strategy 2021-2025  placing women’s empowerment at the heart of its development agenda. They noted that the Bank approved $1.7 billion of investments for women entrepreneurs across 43 countries, through the Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa, or AFAWA, initiative, and that more than 18,000 women-owned and led businesses have received financing via AFAWA-supported programs.

During the side event, UN Women launched its Women’s Economic Empowerment Strategy, aimed at accelerating gender equality and fostering inclusive economic growth. The multilayered presentation explained how the strategy empowers women through targeted initiatives that enhance women’s access to resources, opportunities, and leadership roles in the economy. The strategy prioritises three key areas essential for achieving gender equality, underpinned by promoting gender-responsive macroeconomic policies, addressing discriminatory social norms, and increasing financing for gender equality. “Women’s economic empowerment is not just a matter of social justice; it is an economic imperative. By unlocking the potential of women, we can drive sustainable development and foster resilient economies. The strategy articulates UN Women’s vision and priorities as an organization and ways of working to support women to thrive and economies to prosper,” said Sarah Hendriks, UN Women’s Director of Policy, Programme and Intergovernmental Division.

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