The Female Champions driving Africa’s success

Panel From Margins To Mainstream
Panel From Margins To Mainstream

On December 5th and 6th, 2023, the Gender Champions Meeting – GCM, will mark a pivotal gathering, bringing together over 1000 African women executives from the continent under the theme “Pioneering Change: The Female Champions driving Africa’s success.” The main objective of this digital event is to pave the way for an inclusive and progress-oriented African private sector. This year, special emphasis has been placed on women leaders in the field of innovation.

African Guarantee Fund (AGF) in partnership with the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) will be the Co-hosts of the 2023 Women Working for Change, Gender Champions Meeting. AGF is the implementing partner of the AFAWA Guarantee for Growth (G4G) program that serves to de-risk financial institutions as they lend to women SMEs across Africa.

In January 2021, African Development Bank and the African Guarantee Fund signed a Risk Sharing agreement of USD 250 million through AFAWA to unlock up to USD 2 billion in financing for Women-led Small and Medium Enterprises (WSMEs) in Africa through financial institutions. The Risk Sharing Facility is supported by a USD 25 million technical assistance (TA) grant support to enhance the capacity of financial institutions benefiting from the facility to better address the needs of WSMEs as well as assist WSMEs in increasing their bankability. AFAWA is a pan-African initiative of the African Development Bank, G7 countries, the Netherlands and Sweden that aims to bridge the USD 42 billion financing gap facing women in Africa through three key pillars: Access to Finance, Technical Assistance and Enabling Environment

In partnership with the Main Sponsors (Roche, Rawbank and Proparco), AGF and AFAWA will highlight the challenges faced by gender champions as they steer their industries towards greater prosperity. Their innovative strategies have paved the way for significant advancements, challenging established norms and contributing to shaping a more inclusive and progressive society. Through discussions, we will explore how they have shattered glass ceilings and overcome persistent obstacles in the flourishing sectors they represent: startups, health, climate, sports, and many others.

Among the speakers, we’ll have key figures such as Dr. Ngozi OKONJO-IWEALA (WTO), Nishdeep Sethi (African Guarantee Fund), Melissa Basque-Roux (AFAWA/African Development Bank Group), Lucy QUIST (Bold New Normal), Deborah MUTUND (Group CANAL+), Wendy Cupido (Roche), Ana Ines Alvarez (Avon Foundation for Women), Isabella Naana Asante, patient navigator (breast cancer survivor and nurse), Isabelle LESSEDJINA (Rawbank), Nana Araba Abban (Ecobank Group), Buhle GOSLAR (COPIA GLOBAL), Sophia ALJ (Chari), Miishe ADDY (JetStream), Adesuwa Okunbo RHODES (Aruwa Capital Management). With 6 workshops and 4 panels organized over 2 days, this digital summit represents the premier annual meeting of the Gender Champions community of Women Working For Change – WFC.


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