Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa - Better Quality of life’ (AfDB ‘High 5s’, #5)

Wednesday, 25 May 2016 - 9:30 – 12:00

Moderator : Mr. Nicholas Norbrook, The Africa Report



This High Level Panel will bring together Heads of State and Heads of Financial Institutions to reflect on current developments of gender-focused initiatives and provide guidance on optimized partnership and impact of the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) Program in their respective countries. The Bank is demonstrating commitment to advancing the Gender Equality Agenda, in particular in addressing the challenges women face in accessing finance. The creation of an AFAWA Program is a direct response to international pledges, in particular to the resolution on the need to establish a financing facility for women’s economic empowerment, taken at the January 2015 AU Heads of State Summit and tasked to the AfDB for implementation. This pledge was further highlighted by the AfDB President in his opening remarks at the high level conference on Feeding Africa (Dakar, Senegal on October 21st, 2015), where he announced the Bank’s intention to work with other partners to mobilize funding of up to USD 300 million to finance an Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa, in order to leverage an additional USD 3 billion.

The Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa is proposed to address the financing gap that exists with respect to women’s access to finance. It will comprise of four components, with the AfDB expected to provide part of the financing, which will in turn catalyze additional funding from other investors/donors.

The key objective of the High Level Panel on AFAWA is to have strategic discussion with Heads of State and key Financial Institutions and to solicit political and financial buy-in to the AFAWA Business Case to support women in RMCs. The Event will serve to announce the official launch of the AFAWA Program by the AfDB

Venue : Lusaka, CMR01, MICC

Issues for Discussion

  • How can AFAWA strengthen the ability of banks and financial institutions to finance women owned/led businesses and women in the agriculture sector?
  • What would be the value added of such a Program?
  • What innovative financing mechanisms/structures can be leveraged to swiftly allow women better access funding?
  • What will be the long-term economic benefits of such investments targeting women?
  • How can we speed up women's participation in the general economy and how can the private sector help?
  • How can the AfDB better serve women entrepreneurship in the Private Sector?


  • Ms. Anne Valko- Celestino, Senior Gender Expert, AfDB
  • Mr. Ahmed Rashad Attout, Principal Financial Markets Officer, AfDB

Photo gallery

Africa is simply tired of being in the dark. It is time to take decisive action and turn around this narrative: to light up and power Africa and accelerate the pace of economic transformation, unlock the potential of businesses, and drive much needed industrialization to create jobs.

Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB President

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