A chat with Dr. Awuese Oku, Chief Learning and Development Officer about EDGE Certification and what it means for the African Development Bank

1 - What is Edge Certification and why should we be excited about it? Launched at the World Economic Forum in 2011, Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (EDGE) is the leading global standard for gender equality in the workplace. The rationale is to measure through evidence-based data, progress made in mainstreaming gender in the workplace and with an organisation’s external partners. EDGE Certification has been designed to assist companies create an optimal workplace for both women and men and leverage the diversity dividends. Certification requires a rigorous external assessment of...

CIPREL electrical plant POWER, Ivory Coast


On International Women’s Day Dr. Jennifer Blanke, Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development takes stock and answers 3 questions about African women and agriculture and gives us results from the ground in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Sudan

1. Can you tell the many observing International Women’s Day about the integral role women play in African agriculture? It is well known that women form the backbone of Africa’s economies, and this is as true of agriculture as other areas. In many parts of Africa, well over half of the farmers are women and they are also are very active in value addition such as food processing, as well as in the agricultural service sector. And they do this often back breaking work while also carrying out the unpaid work of running households and child-rearing. At the same time, women face...

Senegal PREFELAG women support IMPROVE LIVES


Access to Finance: Why Aren’t Women Leaning In?

Hanan Morsy As a girl, I was taught to believe that personal agency prevails over societal biases. I was told that I could accomplish anything if I believed in myself and that sexism was not insurmountable. Later, as a woman, I found out that my parents’ advice could not have been wiser. In Africa, the gender gap in access to financial services is driven by women entrepreneurs’ own self-perception. Such perception leaves many African women on the fringes of the financial sector—unable to save, borrow, or build capital. Worldwide, women’s access to finance is disproportionately low....

In Zanzibar, the African Development Bank gives a second chance to young students

Amid the gently swaying palm trees of the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar sits a school with a difference. The Raha Leo Alternative Learning Centre provides training to young students who may have otherwise missed out on education altogether. Take 21-year-old Hadia Baruti Wimbi. She left her parents' home when she was only six. "An elderly member of my family came to see my parents, asking if she could take me away. She promised my parents that she would enrol me at school. When she became my guardian, she enrolled her own children, but not me," Hadia said. Sad to see her friends...

GPN - Guinée-Bissau - Projet d’Appui aux Chaines de Valeurs et à l’Entreprenariat Agricole et Rural (PACVEAR)

Le Gouvernement de la République de Guinée-Bissau a reçu du Fonds Africain de Développement un financement en vue de couvrir le coût d’une partie du Projet d’Appui aux Chaines de Valeurs et à l’Entreprenariat Agricole et Rural (PACVEAR). L’objectif global du PACVEAR est de contribuer à la transformation de l’agriculture en Guinée Bissau afin d’impulser une croissance inclusive du secteur agricole respectueuse de l’environnement et capable de réduire les inégalités de sexe. Les objectifs spécifiques du PACVEAR visent principalement le développement des chaines de valeur riz, horticole et...

Kenya: Celebrated entrepreneur calls for better policies and resources to support youth and women entrepreneurship

Multi-award-winning entrepreneur Ahmad Ashkar has called on policymakers to develop better policy options, backed by dedicated resources to support the youth and women to become successful entrepreneurs. Addressing a forum organized by the Eastern Regional office of the African Development Bank in Nairobi last week, Ashkar, CEO and founder of the Hult Prize Foundation, said  99% of youth do not think they can be entrepreneurs.  “We should equip them with financing, tools, and training in soft skills, which is lacking in the current education system,” he said. The audience...

African Development Bank Director Hanan Morsy named one of Egypt’s 50 most influential women

The Director of Macroeconomic Policy, Forecasting and Research at the African Development Bank, Dr Hanan Morsy, has been named one of Egypt’s 50 most influential women. Dr Hala El Said, Egypt’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development, gave the award on 5 February in a ceremony organized under auspices of the Egyptian Prime Minister.  “I am honored to be named among the most influential women in Egypt. This award validates the crucial role of women in contributing to the Egyptian economy and the continent as a whole,” said Dr Morsy. Dr Morsy has brought a wealth of...

Chad - Project to Promote Training for Girls and Literacy for Women (PEFAF) - P-TD-IAE-002 - ESMF

Despite the improvement in net enrollment ratio (63.6% in 2014, relative to 39% in 2000) and the primary school completion rate (50.8% in 2015, relative to 23% in 2000), the level of education in Chad remains one of the lowest in Africa, particularly among women. These gender disparities are much more pronounced in secondary and higher education, and are equally evident in the low percentage of girls studying the sciences and technology. Poverty, early marriage and pregnancy, gender-based violence, a multiplicity of conflicts and highly-gendered cultural practices from early childhood are...

“Teach them smart solutions,” says out-of-the-box thinker Monique Ntumngia, founder of Green Girls, at 2020 African Economic Outlook launch

African governments must foster innovation and provide hands-on education solutions to young people if the continent is to beat the challenges of the next decade and meet global development targets. “Reality on the ground and the statistics do not meet, they are on parallel lines. There’s more of cram work in our educational system than actually getting us to think out of the box,” said Monique Ntumngia, Cameroonian founder of “Green Girls, a social business that educates young women from rural communities in the use of renewable energy.  Ntumngia was speaking at a panel discussion...

African Development Bank’s digital skills training benefits women

After graduating from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria with a degree in Communication and Language Arts in 2016, Olashile Odetola could not find a job. But an online learning program piloted by the African Development Bank has given her two “gifts”: digital skills and a sense of confidence. Odetola, 31, was one of two thousand students who took part in the ‘Coding for Employment’ digital training program launched by the African Development Bank in partnership with technology firm Microsoft in April 2019 after successful pilots in Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire....

2019 Global Gender Summit marks concrete gains and actionable goals to surge ahead on gender equality

Highlights of the Summit include the launch of: AFAWA risk-sharing facility to de-risk lending to women 50 Million African Women Speak, a Pan-African networking platform Joint UNECA-African Development bank Gender index “We’ve known it from the beginning that equality and women’s empowerment is the true way for sustainable development,” Rwanda’s Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Solina Nyirahabimana told reporters at a 2019 Global Gender Summit press conference on Tuesday. “During this past 25 years, we have been concentrating on gender equality, starting by creating...

Sommet mondial sur le genre à Kigali : les entrepreneures africaines plaident pour des prêts à taux réduits

Les entrepreneures africaines, présentes en grand nombre à la 4ème édition du Sommet mondial sur le genre à Kigali, ont appelé, ce mercredi, les institutions financières à leur accorder des prêts à taux réduits pour le financement de leurs projets. « Lorsqu’on parle de financements pour les femmes, il y a une grande frustration par rapport à ce qu’on nous propose, a regretté  Francine Munyaneza, co-fondatrice de Munyax Eco Rwanda, entreprise d’énergie solaire. Des efforts sont faits, mais cela ne doit pas être conçu comme un privilège pour nous. C’est simplement une question de...

2019 Global Gender Summit - Best of Day 1


Sommet mondial sur le genre à Kigali : il faut promouvoir la parité dans le secteur énergétique pour lutter contre le changement climatique, selon des experts

Des spécialistes des questions énergétiques ont plaidé, ce mardi, en faveur d’une parité du genre dans les secteurs liés à l’énergie afin de lutter efficacement contre le changement climatique, lors du Forum sur le genre, qui se tient jusqu’au 27 novembre à Kigali, capitale du Rwanda. « Les femmes sont vulnérables dans plusieurs pays d’Afrique, notamment dans le secteur de l’eau et de l’énergie. Et cette vulnérabilité peut avoir de nombreuses conséquences qu’on ne peut nier, sur leur santé par exemple », a souligné, d’entrée, Charlotte Eyong, spécialiste du changement climatique et de...

Bring women to the table to build peace in Africa, say gender experts

Women bear the brunt of conflict and for peace building to be successful they must be involved in conflict resolution and reconstruction at every stage, said gender experts at the 2019 Global Gender Summit in Kigali on Tuesday. Speakers at a plenary session on peacebuilding called for home-grown solutions to conflict and the participation of women in policy and decision making at local, national and regional levels. “Africa needs to silence the guns. We need to develop our own action plans, not waiting for donor organizations and development partners,” said Bineta Diop, the African...

2019 Global Gender Summit: African Development Bank, partners officially launch AFAWA Risk Sharing Facility

The African Development Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) programme gained momentum with significant support from commercial banks and a $1 million commitment from the government of Rwanda. The Bank and partners officially launched AFAWA Risk Sharing Facility, on Monday, at a press conference held during the 2019 Global Gender Summit currently underway in Kigali, Rwanda. AFAWA is one of the Bank’s flagship gender-focused programmes which seeks to accelerate growth and employment creation across African economies, by closing the financing gap for women. "...

Sommet mondial sur le genre : pour des politiques macroéconomiques favorables à l’autonomisation des femmes en Afrique

Un panel consacré aux politiques macroéconomiques s’est tenu ce mardi au Sommet mondial sur le genre, co-organisé par la Banque africaine de développement, le gouvernement du Rwanda et des partenaires de développement. L’objectif de la séance, modérée par Basil Jones, coordonnateur de politique et programme genre à la Banque, était d’évaluer la profondeur des politiques actuelles et d’interroger leur capacité à réaliser pleinement l’autonomisation des femmes. Mme Ngoné Diop, cheffe de l’unité Egalité de genre, autonomisation des femmes à la Commission économique pour l’Afrique des...

2019 Global Gender Summit: to achieve new impetus towards gender parity, all stakeholders need to act in five priority areas

Africa needs new impetus in its journey towards gender parity. Making progress on any single indicator of gender inequality is likely to require systematic action on a range of indicators by governments, companies, communities, and individual men and women. A new McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report prepared with McKinsey & Company, Africa, The power of parity: Advancing women’s equality in Africa finds that accelerating progress towards parity could boost African economies by the equivalent of 10 percent of their collective GDP by 2025. The report was launched Tuesday at the 2019...