The European Investment Bank (EIB) has launched a new initiative to boost gender equality and female economic empowerment among African nations.
The initiative dubbed SheInvest aims to mobilise 124 billion shillings (€1 billion) of investment to benefit millions of women across Africa by granting them access to finance and sustainable infrastructure services. Investment under this initiative will be guided by the 2X Challenge criteria that the EU Bank adopted to increase the impact of its financing for gender equality and women economic empowerment in developing countries.
SheInvest will focus particularly on investment in innovative digital solutions and financial products to reach women and girls who are often excluded from such services. The initiative also aims to promote gender-responsive climate financing, acknowledging the key role played by women in climate action and at the same time addressing their vulnerability to climate change impacts.
“Unlocking the potential of women is key to boosting Africa’s economic growth. In several African countries many women still lack access to basic services and are excluded from the financial and labour markets, making them unable to contribute fully to their continent’s development. As the bank of the European Union, we are committed to deliver on gender equality and are proud to be backing this important mission through the new SheInvest initiative,” Ambroise Fayolle, EIB Vice-President in charge of Development Operations said in a statement.
EIB will similarly step up efforts to further invest in projects, sectors and markets that have a transformative effect on gender equality and can increase the capacity of women and girls to participate in the economy and labour market.
In addition, dedicated Technical Assistance will provide capacity building and mentoring to women entrepreneurs so that they can better access finance and will support intermediaries in designing financial products tailored to their needs.