Devastating coronavirus disease: AfDB to rescue women businesses
|The African Development Bank (AfDB) says it is mobilising $5 billion through its Affirmative Finance Action for Women to support women businesses in Africa in view of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.|
The President of the AfDB, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, who disclosed this at the Virtual 2020 International Forum on African Leadership, said the move was to help revive the businesses of women. He noted that the coronavirus pandemic had collapsed many businesses owned by women in Africa. The programme organised by the African Leadership Magazine in Malawi was on the theme, “Rethinking Global Partnerships and Africa’s Economic Resurgence.” “We must build back by ensuring that women are strongly supported, as majority of them have lost incomes, due to their greater dependence on informal markets and sectors such as tourism, hospitality and trade, all of which have been devastated by the lockdowns,” he said.
Dr Adesina said the bank would continue to raise resources to support women across Africa. He said the world had become more fragile to the coronavirus disease, saying “all are affected — developed and developing countries. There’s no coronavirus for developed countries and coronavirus for developing countries.” Dr Akinwumi said the pandemic had laid bare the divide in the labour market. He said those with skills were able to keep their jobs, while low skilled workers, especially those employed in the informal sector, lost jobs worsened by the lockdowns.
“It’s estimated that up to 30 million jobs will be lost in Africa by the end of the year,” Dr Akinwumi said. He said Africa must build back by focusing on the youth, many of whom had no jobs prior to the pandemic. “That’s why the African Development Bank will support the launch of the Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks to create a viable financial ecosystem to unleash the entrepreneurship and businesses of young people,” Dr Akinwumi stressed.
The AfDB President said Africa must build back by focusing sharply on food and nutritional security. “For many, the risk of hunger is higher than coronavirus. Without food, medicines or vaccines don’t work. There is vaccination against coronavirus, but there is no vaccination against hunger,” Dr Akinwumi said.
He said the AfDB had provided over $384 million for countries to address immediate food and nutrition issues, including providing access to improved seeds, farm inputs, strategic food reserves and opening up of regional trade corridors to facilitate trade in food. ###### Dr Adesina Pix/samba/08-12-2020 Caption: Dr Adesina