September 19, 2018
President of the African Development Bank has called for an end to the status quo on gender as women and youth are the backbone of countless small businesses, adding that no country can possibly to move forward in the 21st century if it leaves half of its talent on the sidelines.
“All too often, women are denied their fair share of wages for equal work. The status quo must change. We know that investing in women can create a true multiplier effect in communities,’’ he is quoted to have said.
Akinwumi Adesina made the above statement yesterday at the launch of FinDev Canada, in Montreal, while making the Bank’s case for supporting women.
According to Adesina, women reinvest up to 90% of their income on their families and in their communities and that the money goes toward feeding and educating children and paying for doctor’s visits.
“All of us in this room understand the need to support women instinctively. Many of us have come from places – and have family in places – where the labour of women is absolutely essential to holding communities together. And yet so often, their labour is not even fully recognised. And all too often, women are denied their fair share of wages for equal work,” he said.
Adesina urged partners to work strategically, innovatively, and collaboratively to bridge the estimated US$42 billion financing gap between men and women.
“While societal limitations and belief systems often kill many a woman’s dream, it is often at the bank counter that dreams come crashing down. Without collateral and without access to land or other financial resources, the bank is the end of the road for many women entrepreneurs,” he said.
The AFDB boss noted that the challenge was not just in Africa or even in North America. “In every society, this challenge represents a truly foolish squandering of resources.”
A release from the bank stated that Montreal was the first stop of President Adenisa’s four-day working tour in Canada where he was leading a delegation along with David Stevenson, Executive Director at the Bank representing Canada, China, Republic of Korea, Turkey and Kuwait.
FinDev Canada is a subsidiary of Export Development Canada (EDC), the country’s export credit agency. Launched six months ago, FinDev’s mandate is to support the growth and sustainability of businesses in developing markets.