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Network launches women’s fund

By Thomas Kachere:

African Women Leaders Network (AWLN), in partnership with United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (Uneca) and Standard Bank, over the weekend launched the African Women’s Development Fund in Ethiopia to help African business women.

Former Malawi president Joyce Banda, who attended the meeting, said the fund will ensure that women access business opportunities on the continent.

“The fund is for credit facilities for African women in business and we hope it is a milestone for women empowerment in Africa,” Banda said.

So far Canada, Rwanda and Standard Bank South Africa have contributed money to the fund.

“What remains is for Uneca and Standard Bank to draw modalities of using local AWLN chapter on the continent to access the money on behalf of African business women,” Banda said.

She said the network also drew up a declaration on gender equality for the endorsement of the heads of states in their summit.

“On Saturday 8th of February, we submitted the declaration to President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda received the declaration from the Women Leaders on behalf of the heads of states,” she said.

About 1,000 members of AWLN attended the high level meeting on gender equality and women’s empowerment in Africa.

United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, the AU Commission Chairperson and Prime Minister of Canada, Justine Treaudou, also attended the event.

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