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AFAWA Initiative: French delegation follows through its commitment with working visit to African Development Bank headquarters

12-Feb-2020

A delegation from the French government, led by Philippe Lacoste, director of sustainable development at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, paid a working visit to African Development Bank headquarters in Abidjan on February 13 and 14.

The delegation included Clément Roman from the French Treasury Department and Céline Place, Lacoste’s deputy. They held several meetings with the Bank’s management on the AFAWA initiative. Representing the Bank were Jennifer Blanke, Vice President Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Vanessa Moungar, Director of the Gender, Women and Civil Society Department, Stefan Nalletamby, interim Vice President Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialisation, and Esther Dassanou, AFAWA Initiative coordinator and her team.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France in August  France’s contribution of $135 million to the AFAWA initiative to encourage women’s access to funding in Africa. The amount represents more than half the financial support of $251 million promised by the G7 governments. Through this support, France and the other G7 contributors are demonstrating their commitment to the financial inclusion of women in Africa.

France’s financial aid will support the AFAWA initiative’s innovative risk-sharing mechanism, designed to unlock $3 billion for women entrepreneurs in Africa. Beyond the risk-sharing mechanism, the G7’s support will provide financing for technical assistance to financial institutions and build women entrepreneurs’ capacity. Additionally, the funds allocated will assist in mobilising African governments to reform laws restricting access to credit and to women entrepreneurship.

“I want to stress this initiative’s importance … I know that many people are anticipating this: concrete solutions, designed by Africans, operated by an African institution with many things in the background that will be developed closer to ground level and in a very pragmatic way. This is an idea that will be transformed over time,” President Macron emphasised during the Biarritz summit. 

“Today, I am making a financial commitment. We are providing visibility to this initiative and we will continue to support it over time, along with requirements to ensure that it meets the needs on the ground and that it establishes our collective credibility,” he said during a press conference at the summit.

The French delegation’s visit to the Bank’s headquarters affirms France’s commitment to deliver to the success of the AFAWA initiative.

Contact: 

Alexis Adélé, Department of Communication and External Relations: a.adele@afdb.org

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