The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved financing for a $14.96 million project to help women in Sudan access finance and grow their businesses.
The Accelerating Women’s Entrepreneurship and Access to Finance (AWEAF) project will address capacity, financing, and knowledge gaps for Sudan’s women entrepreneurs.
The financing comes in the form of a grant. The project aims to help women to access quality business development services and financing as well as improving the quality of services provided by financial institutions serving women entrepreneurs in Sudan’s Khartoum and Red Sea states.
“This approval shows that the African Development Bank stands with the government and people of Sudan to enable women to play more major roles in the development of their country,” said African Development Bank Country Manager for Sudan, Raubil Durowoju.
Under the project, 570 micro, small and medium enterprises owned or led by women are expected to receive high quality technical and business development training and a finance pot of up to $11 million.
The new financing is expected to lead to an average 10% growth in business revenue for the women business owners and the creation of 1,200 full-time equivalent jobs, especially for young women.
The project also aims to strengthen the capacity of financial and microfinance institutions that serve women entrepreneurs by establishing ‘internal one-stop shops” for women-tailored operationsand ensuring that the institutions provide gender-responsive financing geared to the needs of female entrepreneurs.
The AWEAF project aligns with the Bank’s Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy and its gender strategy, while contributing to economic growth in the two target states in Sudan.
AWEAF also in line with political and socio-economic reforms being implemented by Sudan’s Transitional Government to diversify the national economy and achieve inclusive growth. This includes enhancing the rights of women and ensuring they are empowered economically, a development that is also expected to enhance the country’s peace and stability.