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African Development Bank and African Guarantee Fund Advocate for Investment in Women-Led Enterprises in Africa at AFAWA Finance Series Kenya

The AFAWA Finance Series Kenya opened on Tuesday, 21 November, drawing senior Kenyan government officials, CEOs of major financial institutions, women entrepreneurs, and business leaders in Nairobi. The call for greater gender-inclusivity was a highlight of the event.

The African Development Bank, the African Guarantee Fund (AGF), and the government of Kenya challenged high-level stakeholders to support extending more financial services to women-led enterprises, emphasizing the benefits for business and economies.

Ann Waiguru, Chair of the Council of Governors in Kenya, stressed the need for financial products tailored to women’s unique experiences, needs, and aspirations. She also highlighted the challenges financial institutions face in understanding and responding to the needs of women entrepreneurs.

The AFAWA Finance Series Kenya, part of the African Development Bank’s AFAWA initiative, offers an overview of AFAWA’s partnership services for the Kenyan market, sensitizing policymakers and financial leaders about the economic contributions of opening the financial landscape to women entrepreneurs.

Harriette Chiggai, Women’s Rights Advisor to the president of Kenya, spoke about the celebration of creating an environment where Kenyan women can access essential financial tools for enterprise and development.

The series explores ways to enhance regulatory frameworks to boost access to finance for women-led small and medium enterprises, and it aims to build understanding of AFAWA’s Guarantee for Growth mechanism.

Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, Vice President for Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery at African Development Bank Group, emphasized the importance of offering financial services to women-led enterprises and addressing the challenges they face.

The AFAWA Guarantee for Growth program provides assistance and incentives to financial institutions to increase their lending to women-led SMEs, aiming to de-risk financial institutions that lend to women-led start-ups.

Jules Ngankam, CEO of the African Guarantee Fund, highlighted the program’s focus on supporting women and increasing their productivity to participate fully in the African economy’s GDP.

The AFAWA Finance Series contributes to AFAWA’s mission to reduce the financing gap for women-led SMEs, with previous editions held in Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Angola.

For media contacts, email media@afdb.org for the African Development Bank and diana.aluga@africanguaranteefund.com for the African Guarantee Fund.

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