At least 20,500 Nigerian Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) have benefited from about $1.1 billion funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
AfDB President, Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina, disclosed this at the African SME Immersion Fund Roundtable by Access Bank Plc.
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Adesina, who was represented by the Director General (DG), Nigeria Country Department of AfDB, Lamin G. Barrow, said, “In Nigeria, the bank has eight active Lines of Credit (LOC) targeting SMEs valued at $1.1bn. Our interventions have supported over 20,500 MSMES and have contributed to the creation of over 440,000 jobs, with women and the youths accounting for 60 per cent.
He also indicated that the bank has also launched the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) as a flagship initiative to close the $42bn access to finance gap for women led and owned SMSEs.
He explained that through AFAWA, the bank will facilitate up to $5bn in credit access to women SMEs by 2026.
Adesina noted that this will be achieved by: “Enhancing access to financial services by leveraging our LOCs, trade finance and equity participations to ensure that a percentage of these investments are targeting women empowered SMEs. To date, over $800m in investments have been approved for on-lending to 3,000 women SMEs in 23 African countries, including Nigeria; and policy reforms to foster inclusive and gender responsive solutions for women SMEs.”