At its Africa Day in Addis Ababa, the European Investment Bank signed today a new loan with the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation to further boost female economic inclusion and empowerment across the country.
The EIB will provide an EUR 30 million long-term loan to the Ethiopia Women Entrepreneurship Development Project (WEDP) also funded by the World Bank (WB), which supports micro and small enterprises owned or partly owned by women entrepreneurs.
This will address a major obstacle, especially for women encountering a lack of access to finance for their firms. They are often excluded by commercial banks due to the relatively small loan size they need and the excessive collateral requirements.
By fostering financial inclusion and the growth of women-owned micro-small businesses, the EIB is helping to create jobs and supporting women’s empowerment.
EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle, who signed the loan in the Ethiopian capital, said: “By improving access to finance for women entrepreneurs and investing in female-owned businesses, the Ethiopia Women Entrepreneurship Development Project will enhance economic growth, job creation, female empowerment, and ultimately poverty reduction in Ethiopia. This is very much in line with the Cotonou Agreement and cooperation between Ethiopia and the European Union, as outlined in the 2014-2020 National Indicative Programme for Ethiopia, and constitutes one of the Bank’s priorities as reaffirmed in the EIB Group Strategy on Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment.”
Signing alongside EIB Vice-President Fayolle, the Ethiopian Finance Minister H.E Mr Ahmed Shide said: “The ongoing Ethiopian government’s Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) gives priority to youth, especially women, by providing access to financial services and credit, as well as skills training for the manufacturing sector and professional life. The Women Entrepreneurship Development Project (WEDP), which was initiated in 2013 with the support of development partners has since served as a platform for mobilizing additional support for the cause. What started as a USD 50 million credit from the World Bank for the project has since attracted financing from the Italian and Japanese governments”.
This 2018 edition of Africa Day is organized in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) around the theme of sustainable industrialization.
The EIB’s Africa Day was created to explore the continent’s many challenges and discuss ways to tap into its huge potential.
Original source: EIB
Published on 22 November 2018