Akinwumi Adesina , the president of the
Africa Development Bank, and former
Nigerian minister for agriculture, says 98
percent of women repay their loans.
Speaking at the first ever Africa Investment
Forum (AIF) in Sandton, South Africa, Adesina
said if women had the resources available to
men, the gross domestic product (GDP) of the
world will go up by 26 percent.
“If the world today has the same resources for
women that it has for men, you would be able
to increase the GDP of the world by 26
percent, ” Adesina said.
“And in case of Africa, that GDP will go up by
an additional 12 percent. So it makes sense,
economic sense, to invest in women.
“That is where the challenge really is, the
women don’t have access to finance. If you
look at the financing gap that women have, it
is roughly anything around $42 billion in
terms of financing businesses for women in
Africa today.
“Take agriculture, that is probably another $12
billion gap for financing for women.”
“Women, we know, payback on their loans; 98
percent payback on their loan. So, what sense
does it make that you are telling me that you
are not going to be lending to women that pay
back 98 percent of their loans.
“I am sure the balance of two percent is
probably their husbands in a way telling them
that they shouldn’t go and pay. The point I am
trying to make is that women are bankable!”
Adesina said the AfDB is doing what it can to
ensure that banks in Africa lend more to
women, and rejig the financial system.
“Women pay back their loans, we have to
develop new financing instruments that allows
us to lend more to women, not based on
collateral, because there is nothing better than
the collateral of your repayment rate,” he
“Let us rejig and tune the financial market
towards women, and that is why for us at
AfDB, everything we do is to make sure that we
do that.
“We give quite a lot of financing to women
through intermediary financing institutions.
and we hold banks accountable to what the do
for women.
“For example, we just did Fidelity Bank in
Nigeria $50 million, and 30 percent of it will
go to businesses of women.”