In an effort to increase the access to fund by African female entrepreneurs, the Economic Commission for Africa is working at establishing a fund for African women in business.

According to the institution’s Executive Secretary, Vera Songwe, the idea behind this funding is to provide sustainable investment capital to women-owned and led businesses. Ms. Songwe also added that the fund will be managed and administered by women for African women.

The Secretary said that women have proven themselves as entrepreneurs and drivers of the economy but hurdles, in particular corruption, continue to impede their growth.

“Access to finance by women is critical if we are to attain the sustainable development goals as putting money in the hands of women will surely guarantee its better utilization for household livelihoods and quality care for families and reduce vulnerabilities and disease burdens,” said Ms. Songwe.

“Promoting women entrepreneurs involves tackling not only issues of access to finance and services, but considering social and cultural impediments faced by African women entrepreneurs. Challenges for African women seeking financing for business of whatever size is fraught with many difficulties.”

Speaking about the funding, the ECA Chief said “women’s economic advancement must begin with us ending the scourge of corruption. We need women in leadership positions to see an end to corruption. Together we can win this fight and close the gender gap, especially through this fund for women by women. We need women at the bottom, in the middle and at the top”.

To this end, the fund has been named the African Women Leaders Fund, AWLN. Which will see to the advancement of women leadership in the transformation of Africa as part of the pursuit of Africa’s Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030 of the sustainable development goals.

AWLN will pursue to advance, train and support female leaders in Africa.