In its new gender strategy for the period 2021-2025, the African Development Bank has unveiled its gender vision for the next five years. The pan-African development institution plans to “transform the continent’s key sectors into accessible opportunities, where women, girls, men and boys, regardless of their origin, benefit from access and equal control over productive resources and benefit from infrastructure and support services to flourish.”
The 60-page document underlines, in particular, that the AfDB will implement its strategy while respecting its political commitments emanating from the African Development Fund (ADF)-15 and the general increase in the capital of the Bank.
The AfDB intends in its strategy to strengthen gender equality and empower women and girls in its five priority areas, the “High 5”. It intends to integrate the gender dimension into all national and regional operations. It will also strive to classify 100% of its public sector operations using the Gender Marker System.
In addition, the AfDB will make the necessary investments to deploy gender specialists, create knowledge products on gender equality and build the capacity of its staff to ensure that women, men, boys and girls benefit equally from Bank-financed operations.
Priority will also be given to interventions aimed at strengthening gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls by selectively focusing on areas in which the Bank can demonstrate concrete comparative advantage and added value.
The gender approach in member countries will be strengthened and interventions will be carried out taking into account the contexts and priorities of each country. The Bank will therefore continue to invest in the production of country-specific gender data and knowledge in order to improve its understanding of the constraints specific to each country.
Finally, the AfDB intends to leverage its mobilising power in the post-Covid-19 recovery process which has disproportionately affected women, girls and young people. Thus, with the support of key partners such as financial institutions, central banks, civil society organizations, among others, it will help regional member countries to rebuild better, to overcome structural obstacles. To this end, it intends to support the financing of short and long-term, gender-sensitive interventions that place women at the centre of the action as essential engines of socio-economic recovery.
In May 2016, the Bank launched the AFAWA (“Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa”) initiative in order to fill the gap in access to finance for women in Africa, estimated at $42 billion.
Over the next few years, the institution plans to release up to five billion dollars in funding as part of the implementation of this initiative in favour of women.
The African Development Bank is also committed to building the capacity of financial institutions operating on the continent to increase their interest in the niche of small and medium enterprises owned by women. It also intends to help them adapt their products and services to the types of businesses that women and girls run.
Related articles: INNOVATIVE DEVELOPMENTS FOR GENDER EQUALITY