Days after UNICEF disclosed that 130 million African girls and women live in premature unions, the Novafrica Conference in Lisbon also discusses how to promote Africa’s economic development by reducing gender inequality.
The World Bank supports several projects on the continent that aim to enable female entrepreneurship.
“Those programs are working with, for example, banks and microfinance institutions to help them improve financing for women. We work with e-commerce platforms and corporations to try to get more women as suppliers so that they can sell their goods into stable large markets. We work with government agencies to reduce policies and also to get governments to procure women’s enterprises. So, getting governments to really recognize that it matters who they are buying from. And women shouldn’t be excluded from those markets. We work with accelerators, we work with training agencies, so in all of these countries we have different partners that we are working with to expand the capabilities of women entrepreneurs,” said Wendy Teleki, the head of the We-Fi Secretariat (World Bank).
In Mozambique, women make up over 50% of the population, yet this is not reflected in the country’s economy. The deepening financial Sector has invested in financial literacy, but it is necessary to explain the concepts so that these women understand them.
“She can hear on the radio what savings are, but it’s going to be different if someone sits down with her and shows her how from that business she can start saving, can start creating conditions to mitigate, to reduce those periods of seasonal poverty,” said Esselina Macome, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Financial Sector Deepening Program in Mozambique.
This new Africa that everyone wants to build has lots of challenges, yet the solution can be simple.
“We believe getting funding into the hands of women, helping build their skills, helping build their access to the market world, actually help … those countries become more resilient to the many crises that they are facing today,” said Wendy Teleki, the head of the We-Fi Secretariat (World Bank).