Today, we celebrate Angelique Kidjo. The 3-time Grammy award-winning singer is the voice of a new project aimed in part at rewriting laws across the continent that prevent millions of women from becoming a more powerful economic force.
"Every time credit is refused to African women, who invest some 90% of what they earn in educating their children and supporting families and communities as opposed to about 40% for men, it’s a disaster", Kidjo said. “We’re taking up reducing the poverty rate in Africa to the smallest number ever. That’s my passion. That’s why I’m here.”
AFAWA, or Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa is the African Development Bank Group's financing project for African women. Already the G-7 group of the world’s major democracies has committed $250 million, and the bank is providing $1 billion for the project that will be deployed across all 54 countries.
The goal is to raise $5 billion for efforts that include helping to guarantee loans, training women on financial matters and eliminating laws and regulations that make accessing credit more difficult. The Africa-focused AFAWA will launch this month in Rwanda at the Global Gender Summit.