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President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has urged banks to create better financial access to African women, saying that the AfDB will grade the banks on how well they financially support women.

Adesina made the call during his address at the inaugural session of the Global Gender Summit in Kigali, Rwanda.

The summit hosted by the AfDB and Rwandan Government is organised by the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs).

While speaking, the AfDB president explained the importance of financially supporting African women, saying the banks need to support women in order to evolve.

“When women borrow, they always repay and 90 per cent of them repay their loans without the least problem.

“So, where is the risk? The problem is prejudice and the banks’ lack of flexibility.

“We must leave this behind to allow women access to financing,” Adesina said

“From now on, we shall be grading every African financial institution on how well it helps women.

“Every financial ecosystem must evolve to support women. And we are going to put pressure on the guarantee banks,” Adesina added.

Also, the Senegalese Minister of Women, Family and Gender, Salimata Dieng reiterated the ned for financial institutions to support initiatives by or for women.

She said, “These women have relatively moderate finance needs, just enough to create projects and jobs.

“They need support from the private sector and the banks to help them weave their way into the economy.”

While speaking on supporting the African woman, the Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Group, Joséphine Anan-Ankomah disclosed that the bank had already begun making efforts to support women and gender parity.

Andrew Temu, President of the African Guarantee Fund called for discussions with other African countries to enhance the financial ecosystem.

“There are a number of actors, banks, investors, entrepreneurs and clients operating within the economic market. Everyone needs to be in communication to address the risks,” he said.