The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Bank for Trade and Industry (BCI) of Mauritania have signed a 485,000 dollars agreement for Affirmative Finance Action for Women in African (AFAWA).
The bank in a statement said that the programme was aimed at promoting women’s access to finance in Africa.
“The Promoting Access of Women-Owned Enterprises to Financial and Technical Support Services in the Western Sahel Region project is financed by AfDB with support from Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi).
“The project aims to strengthen BCI’s financing capacity for trade and industry and to better support women small and medium enterprises in Mauritania, Mali, Senegal and Guinea,’’ it said.
It said that Mohamed El -Azizi, AfDB’s Director-General for North Africa and Isselmou Tajidine, Managing Director of BCI’s Trade and Industry Group, signed the agreement.
It said that the agreement was signed on the sidelines of the Mauritania Investment Forum.
The forum with the theme, “Invest Days-Nouakchott’’, was organised by the Mauritania Investment Promotion Agency.
AfDB’s director-general for North Africa said: “The signing of this technical assistance agreement with the BCI Group is an important step in supporting financial inclusion and growth of women-led SMEs.
“This plays a crucial role in Mauritania’s economic development.
“The agreement consolidates a 10 million euro line of credit, approved by AfDB’s board of directors to BCI in 2021, to support growth and trade of strategic small businesses of women entrepreneurs.’’
BCI’s managing director said that the project reinforced the bank’s strategic partnership with AfDB and would position the bank as the choice for women entrepreneurs in Mauritania, Senegal, Mali and Guinea.
Tajidine added that it would help to expand the bank’s offering of financial products and technical support for women-led businesses.
AFAWA and the Mauritania Investment Promotion Agency organised a workshop on strengthening financial inclusion of women’s SMEs in Mauritania during the Invest Days-Nouakchott Forum.
The session presented the mechanisms of the initiative, including the “Guarantee for Growth” programme implemented by the African Guarantee Fund.
It also provided an opportunity to discuss the regulatory framework and steps that authorities and businesses can take to improve financial access for women’s businesses.
The forum also featured inauguration of the AFAWA ambassadors programme which will advocate accelerated access to finance for Africa’s women entrepreneurs and showcase women leaders.
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