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Market Scoping Study to Inform the Development of the AfDB’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa Programme (AFAWA) - Executive Summary
Closing the gender gap is a crucial determinant of social and economic development and cross-cutting issues in the AfDB’s Ten-Year Strategy, High-Five Agenda, Financial Sector Development Policy and Strategy, Private Sector Strategy, and Governance Strategy. African women in business experience higher access to finance barriers than African men do. These barriers widely affect their ability to take advantage of economic opportunities and access resources that can help them start, operate and grow their businesses. While the number of women entering the workforce in Africa has increased substantially over the last decade, women are primarily engaged in the informal sector, operating micro and small enterprises and performing low-earning activities. A major share of women-owned enterprises is found in rural areas where there are fewer opportunities for business expansion.