By Chioma Iruke
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $50 million loan facility to support women-led businesses local enterprises and in the agribusiness, manufacturing, healthcare and renewable energy sectors.
According to statement by the AfDB, the loan which will be domiciled with First City Monument Bank (FCMB), would see 30 percent of the funds, intended to mitigate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, earmarked for underserved women-empowered businesses.
Recall, in 2020, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, approved a $50 million loan for FCMB to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The development bank added that it will provide a technical assistance grant of $200,000 through its Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative, supported by the World Bank-AfDB’s women entrepreneurship finance initiative.
It said the grant will complement the $50 million loan by enabling FCMB to provide non-financial services, including training, and to strengthen its monitoring and reporting functions.
Stefan Nalletamby, AfDB’s Director of Financial Sector Development, said: “The African Development Bank is pleased to support FCMB’s strategy to become a dominant player in addressing the funding needs of women-empowered and local enterprises.
“This project will extend valuable resources to critical but underserved segments during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with its adverse macroeconomic impacts”.
According to the statement, the project advances AfDB’s ten-year strategy and is consistent with three of its high-5 strategic priorities: industrialize Africa, feed Africa, and improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.