Nigeria may miss AfDB  women empowerment grant
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Nigeria may miss AfDB  women empowerment grant 

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AfDB shocks Nigeria, releases only $600m of $1bn loan promised

There are strong indications that Nigeria may not feature in the African Development Bank (AfDB) new project for rural women. Reason: not much has been put in place for the take off of such a programme, expected to kick start very soon.

On July 15, AfDB the approved USD 12.4 million grant for a project tagged: ’50 million Women Speak’ to create a networking platform dedicated to sub-Saharan women entrepreneurs.

The grant is meant to be evenly distributing among the Common Markets for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) with the proviso that each region would organise its would-be beneficiaries on small and medium term trades.

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Said the bank’s official, it is to form part of the Innovation Lab, as one of the pillars of the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) programme that was launched by the President of the Bank at the Annual Meeting in Lusaka, Zambia in May.

But Nigeria is yet to commence the process of organising its rural women that are targetted in the programme and who are to have businesses, capable of creating at least 10% more jobs.

Said  Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, the AfDB’s Special Envoy, “the project is an innovative social media platform to enable women to start, grow and scale their business through the dynamic exchange of ideas.

“The platform will cover 36 countries and will be accessible on mobile phones, based on each country’s ability to have its women educated on a viable trade or business.

“It is to be implemented within a period of three  years as from 2017,  after certifying compliance of start off,” the special envoy stated.

Evidence of the fact that many countries have already put in place organised structures for women is confirmed by the bank’s official.

But a senior official of  the Federal Ministry of Women and Child Affairs claimed that the country is ever ready to expose its citizens, irrespective of gender, to any innovation capable of enhancing their well being.

“Why should Nigeria not participate in such a programme from the international institutions?” he said in a phone conversation.

 

But given the level of illiteracy in the country, experts have  expressed the view that women in the country, with the challenges of accessing financial and non-financial services may not be ready for the assistance, ditto to women in other ECOWAS sub region.

It is believed that as a result of the programme, the rate of women entrepreneurs with access to banking loans could jump from 4% to 10% by 2022.

 

 

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