As the global financial system is being re-shaped, the African Development Bank (AfDB) recently approved a new five-year Gender Strategy (2021-2025) meant to achieve the bank’s obligation to promote equality and empower women and girls in Africa.
In a statement, AfDB Gender, Women and Civil Society director Ms. Vanessa Moungar said the recently approved strategy seeks to support females through bringing gender equality. “This is a significant milestone for the bank, as it will guide our interventions in the next five years as we continue to increase our efforts to achieve outcomes and maximum impact on building gender equality on the ground for women to thrive.”
The new strategy is anchored on three pillars.
The first pillar includes empowering through access to finance and markets. This pillar focuses on increasing access to finance and technical assistance to female entrepreneurs in business model development and competitive enterprises. The key to achieving this pillar is through the flagship initiative which seeks to unlock US$5 billion over five years to support women’s small and medium enterprises.
The second pillar involves accelerating employability and job creation for women through skills enhancement. This pillar aims to increase access to relevant skills and jobs for women by considering the need to introduce more women to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields while leveraging technology to enhance access to skills and information.
The last pillar comprises increasing women’s access to social services through infrastructure. In this pillar, the bank seeks to influence gender-responsive quality infrastructure development to ensure that women have adequate access and positively benefit from infrastructure projects as stakeholders, workers, and end-users.
Lately, the Board of Directors of AfDB approved a grant of $11.26 million to the Government of Chad to fund the Girls’ Education and Women’s Literacy Project which is the first Bank grant entirely targeting women and girls.
The bank has played a significant role in gender issues since the 1980s and through the gender strategy, the Bank aims to capitalize on its long-standing experience, leadership, and convening power as well as building on its comparative advantage to achieve maximum impact on the ground.
The AfDB is a financial provider to African governments and private companies investing in the regional member countries (RMC). Since its founding, AfDB has financed 2,885 operations, for a total of $47.5 billion. The African Development Bank Group has two other entities: the African Development Fund and the Nigeria Trust Fund.