The African Development Bank (AfDB) is rolling out an affirmative action to leverage about $3 to $5billion for women businesses in Africa, the bank’s President Dr. Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina has said. Speaking at official opening ceremony of the bank’s Annual Meetings in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, on Wednesday, Dr. Adesina said the regional integration drive aimed at enhancing Africa’s economic prosperity will be meaningless unless women are adequately financed. He said to advance opportunities for women, the bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) was being rolled out to leverage $3-5 billion, specifically for women businesses in Africa. “I am delighted that the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) has just invested over $68 million in AFAWA. This is very exciting for women across Africa. When women win, Africa wins!’’, he said. He said the future of the African continent is getting brighter as the 2019 African Economic Outlook of the AfDB shows general economic performance has continued to recover. He said: “Growth is projected at 4% in 2019 and 4.1% in 2020. This is a strong momentum, from the growth of only 2.1% posted as recently as 2016. “It is worth noting that 40% of African countries are projected to see growth of at least 5% this year, as commodity prices recover and domestic demand and infrastructure investments boost growth. “There’s excitement in the air on Africa’s economic opportunities. And those opportunities are boundless. The newly minted Africa Continental Free Trade Area will make Africa the largest free trade zone in the world, with a combined GDP of over $3.3 trillion. Pulling down tariff barriers alone, will spur trade by at least 53%, and with the elimination of non-tariff barriers, trade could potentially double.”

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