African Women’s Economic Summit Looks for Solutions to Women’s Financial Exclusion

Friday 31st August 2012

This past July GBA Member New Faces New Voices in partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB) hosted the second African Women’s Economic Summit (AWES). Besides numerous financial institutions, African government, regulators, research and academic institutions, non-governmental organization, big business and civil society came together to discuss topics around the development of women in finance.

One seminar “Finding solutions to the Challenge of Capitol Deployment” had participants agreeing that women entrepreneurs need more assistance towards accessing capitol. The absence of relevant information for credit opportunities, lack of technical capacity on the part of both financial institutions and women entrepreneurs were identified as the primary reason for poor access to credit by women. The article on the AllAfrica website said that “Ms. Patience Marime Ball of the IFC’s Global Financial Department, said the IFC plans to invest in 1 million SMEs with about 25 percent of it going to women entrepreneurs. She said what is important is how to get Private Equity Funds to deploy funds quickly adding that the IFC has about $2.8 billion committed to private equity funds with about $1.5 billion going into SMEs.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has also pledged its continued support for women empowerment in the continent. AfDB president Dr. Donald Kaberuka indicated that he felt Africa had made significant progress in the last few years and that Africa is poised to play an increasingly important role in the global economy if the right things are done and says all hands must be on deck. He congratulated Mrs Graça Machel (founder of New Faces New Voices) for her exceptional leadership and her untiring effort in promoting the African woman.


Conference Attendees – Dr Nkosana Moyo, Founder and Executive Chairman, Mandela Institute for Development Studies, Ms Nomsa Daniels, Executive Director, New Faces New Voices, Ms Ginette Yoman, Divisional Manager, Gender and Development Unit, African Development Bank, Ms Cecilia Akintomide, Vice President and Secretary General, African Development Bank

Nomsa Daniels, Executive Director of New Faces New Voices (NFNV), said in the next two years, the organization would focus attention on developing a data base on women participation in entrepreneurship, financing and the economy. In addition, she said the group would organize a capacity building program as well as financial education and enlightenment for women.

Other GBA Member Banks who attended the Summit besides NFNV included Access Bank, Diamond Bank, Standard Charter Bank and GBA governing Board Member Toyin Adeniji, Head: Women in Business Program at the IFC.