Recently, First City Monument Bank received a loan approval of $50m from the board of African Development Bank to disperse said sum to women-owned businesses in the agribusiness, manufacturing, healthcare, renewable energy sector. This was revealed in a statement issued by the African Development Bank.
30% of this loan will cater to women whose businesses have been affected by the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic and hopes to ease their financial burdens and scale their business.
The statement also added that a technical assistance grant of $200,000 will be provided through its initiative, Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa. This grant will serve as an aid to help FCMB provide training, organize programs for the beneficiaries to enable them to utilize the loans in the best way possible.
Stefan Nalletamby, the 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 official statement, the African Development Bank aims to bridge the gap of financing for small, medium-scale businesses owned by women. The organization recognizes that Nigeria is the perfect demography to grant this aid to as a lot of businesses were negatively affected by the COVID 19 pandemic especially those owned by women.
A lot of lower-income women in Nigeria often engage in small to medium-scale trading and during the lockdown in Nigeria, a lot of businesses were unable to function properly.
The project aligns with the objectives of AFAWA (Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa), which aims to improve gender inclusivity by improving access to finance for women entrepreneurs.
The project is also consistent with three of the African Development Bank’s High-five strategic priorities: Industrialise Africa, Feed Africa, and improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.
This is also part of its efforts to ensure that the global goal of giving women equal access to opportunities and utilize their potentials, is achieved globally.