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2023 Annual Report: Mobilizing for Systemic Change | View Report
FUNDING

We-Fi Allocation: $75m

Mobilization Target: $540m

EXPECTED IMPACT

Catalyze $75m in financing to WSMEs

Reach 48,000 women entrepreneurs

TIMELINE

Round II: 2019 to 2024

Round IV: 2022 to 2028

26 COUNTRIES

Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Round II: Affirmative Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) 

This program seeks to improve WSMEs’ access to finance across the African continent using a unique risksharing mechanism dedicated to WSMEs. It also focuses on overcoming some of the institutional challenges constraining women’s access to finance. By employing a holistic approach, the program offers innovative and tailored financial products, including a credit enhancement instrument, specialized capacity building trainings to financial institutions and WSMEs, and targeted initiatives to transform the business-enabling environment for WSMEs. AFAWA comprises the following components:

1. Improving access to finance for WSMEs by implementing a first-loss risk sharing facility to de-risk the WSME portfolio of banks, SME impact funds, and financial institutions-focused funds that invest in Tier 2 and 3 banks and microfinance institutions that target WSMEs.

2. Providing technical assistance to partner financial institutions on developing products for WSMEs, and providing capacity building to WSMEs, cooperatives, and other women’s associations on financial literacy, business plan development, and financial management.

3. Improving the policy and enabling environment for WSMEs across Africa by assessing legal and policy frameworks in target countries, highlighting gaps and policies to enhance women’s financial inclusion, and promoting grassroots advocacy and enactment of policy and legal reforms.

4. Promoting special initiatives to expand access to financial and non-financial services and develop activities that complement and maximize outreach to underserved urban and rural women entrepreneurs and WSMEs.

Round IV: Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI)

The Africa Digital Financial Inclusion facility (ADFI) is a blended finance facility that combines grant money and debt financing to support the development of digital financial services. We-Fi funding is used to scale the provision of digital financial services to WSMEs to bolster their business productivity and resilience. The key program components are:

1. Technical assistance to identify key stakeholders to increase WSMEs’ access to finance. The objective is to connect WSMEs with banks, mobile money operators, insurance providers, technology providers, and corporates.

2. Capacity building to provide WSMEs with the necessary skills to leverage technology and support for financial service providers to design digital credit solutions relevant to the needs of WSMEs.

3. Blended finance and results-based mechanisms (RBMs): to support participating institutions in systematically changing their approach to access to credit for WSMEs.

RECENT UPDATES

AfDB

IFC and the African Development Bank Launch Program to Support Women Farmers in Côte d’Ivoire

Supported by We-Fi, IFC and AfDB's Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative…

Program Contact

Esther Dassanou (m.dassanou@afdb.org)

Implementing Partner Proposals