The Women Deliver 2023 Conference Takes Center Stage in Africa
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has pledged its commitment as a partner to the Women Deliver 2023 Conference, a monumental gathering focused on advancing gender equality across sectors.
Taking place in Kigali, Rwanda, from 17th to 20th July, the conference is set to unite leaders from government, grassroots organizations, multilateral entities, and the private sector, along with representatives from marginalized groups.
AfDB’s Support for Gender Equality: A Financial Commitment
The Bank has devoted $300,000 to bolster the Women Deliver 2023 Conference, expecting to attract a significant attendance of 6,000 individuals in person and 200,000 others participating online.
Emphasizing inclusivity and collaboration, this year’s conference theme revolves around “Spaces, Solidarity and Solutions,” aiming to create co-created spaces that foster solidarity, consequently leading to sustainable solutions for gender equality.
A Visionary Sponsor: AfDB’s Pivotal Role
The African Development Bank has taken up the role of a Visionary Sponsor, actively participating and co-organizing four prominent events during the Women Deliver 2023 Conference in Kigali.
Driving Financial Inclusion and Women’s Leadership
On Sunday, the Bank partnered with the Angaza Forum, in collaboration with the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development, and Women in Finance Rwanda.
The event’s focus was “Promoting Women’s Leadership in Financial Sector Inclusion and Innovation.” Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia and Nobel Prize Laureate, delivered inspiring remarks, emphasizing the importance of advancing women’s leadership in the financial sector.
Bridging the Gap Between Policies and People
On Tuesday, the Bank and the African Union jointly presented the plenary session “Maputo@20: Bridging the Gap Between Policies and People.”
This session highlighted Africa’s priorities and actions towards gender equality and women’s empowerment, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa.
Director Malado Kaba showcased the Bank’s commitment to achieving the objectives of the Maputo Protocol, including ending discrimination against women and advancing their access to education, training, and economic rights.
Advancing Women’s Economic Power
Also on Tuesday, the Bank collaborated with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to host a private ministerial roundtable on
“Accelerating Inclusive Economic Growth by Advancing Women’s Economic Power.”
The roundtable brought together a diverse group of government ministers, leaders of multilateral institutions, and bilateral and philanthropic donors to discuss how investing in gender equality contributes to countries’ economic development goals.
Director Malado Kaba and Country Manager Aissa Toure offered insightful contributions, while Shri Amitabh Kant, the G20 Sherpas chair, provided recorded remarks. The key takeaways from this session will be shared as recommendations with the G20.
Scaling Up Innovative Solutions for Women’s Access to Finance
On 19th July, the Bank, together with the African Union, will co-present the conference’s Africa Session:
“Scaling Up Innovative Solutions to Enhance Women’s Access to Finance.”
Country Manager Aissa Toure will participate in a panel discussion focused on bridging the gap to affordable financial products and services, highlighting insights from the Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative. This initiative seeks to address the $42 billion finance gap for women entrepreneurs on the continent.
Director Malado Kaba will deliver the closing remarks, shedding light on the role of innovative technology and platforms in unlocking opportunities for women entrepreneurs while emphasizing the significance of financial regulation and policy to empower women-owned businesses.
Tackling Nutritional Inequalities for Women and Adolescent Girls
Also on 19th July, the Bank’s African Leaders for Nutrition initiative will join a global coalition of over 40 organizations in the launch of the ‘gender nutrition gap’ campaign at Women Deliver.
Ghana’s First Lady and African Leaders for Nutrition Champion, Rebecca Naa Okaikor Akufo-Addo, will provide the opening remarks at the launch. This campaign aims to address the stark nutritional inequalities faced by women and adolescent girls worldwide.
Focused on a data revolution, the campaign strives to close the vast data gaps on women’s and girls’ nutrition, coordinated by the international non-profit FHI Solutions with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
A Platform for Women Entrepreneurs: Showcasing Success Stories
Throughout the conference, the Bank’s delegation will engage in bilateral meetings with government ministers and leaders from financial institutions, non-governmental organizations, and philanthropic organizations.
Moreover, the Bank will provide a platform for African women entrepreneurs who have benefited from the AFAWA initiative to showcase their businesses in the conference’s exhibition space.
A Legacy of Collaboration for Gender Equality
AfDB’s participation in the Women Deliver 2023 Conference marks the culmination of six years of close collaboration with Women Deliver in their shared efforts to promote gender equality.
Furthermore, this alignment with the Bank’s Gender Strategy 2021-2025 reinforces the blueprint for investing in Africa’s women, thereby accelerating inclusive growth.
A Resolute Commitment to Gender Equality
Director for Gender, Women, and Civil Society, Malado Kaba, reaffirms the Bank’s unwavering commitment to gender equality.
“The African Development Bank firmly believes that investing in women is critical to advancing development goals across Africa and the Global South.
We are thrilled to partner with Women Deliver as we showcase programs and policies that we know work and explore new ideas and collaborations to advance gender equality.”