AfDB President Says Investing in Women Differently is Essential to Revitalizing Africa’s Economy

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African Development Bank (AfDB) Group President, Donald Kaberuka, and New Faces New Voices (NFNV) Founder, Graça Machel, have invited African and global leaders to Nairobi, Kenya, to the first African Women Economic Summit (AWES) which aims at integrating women in the brainstorming process on rebuilding the global financial system. The two-day event will be opened by the Kenyan Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, on 19 March 2010.  Some one hundred African and global leaders, businesspeople, policy-makers, regulatory officials, bankers and women entrepreneurs, will define achievable and measureable  actions aimed at rebuilding the global financial system and enabling women to be fully integrated in the system.

Speaking ahead of the summit, the AfDB President said that “investing in women differently is essential to revitalize our economies.” He acknowledged “the benefits of improving women’s economic opportunities,” suggesting that leaders should take decisive measures to enhance women’s business role. The AfDB’s private sector department and the institution’s gender, climate change and sustainable unit have made voluntary and sustained contributions towards the promotion of gender equality by supporting efforts by African authorities in the areas of women’s empowerment and the promotion of women entrepreneurship.

The NFNV is a professional network which promotes business and financial changes in favor of African women. It was created by Graça Machel and its objective is to mobilize necessary institutions with the aim of placing women at the heart of decisions related to the development of a new financial system on the continent. The network calls for women’s empowerment given their critical role in efforts at overcoming challenges posed by the global financial crisis.