One year after the initial outbreak of the COVID-19, the economic impact on the world has been dire. In Africa, though the health impact of the pandemic has been relatively low in comparison to the rest of the world, it is estimated that 9.1% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa have immediately fallen into extreme poverty.
In the face of the human and economic crisis caused by the pandemic, existing gender inequalities in economic opportunities may worsen. 58% of the African self-employed population is women. Because many of their businesses are in less-profitable sectors, women are more vulnerable to negative economic impact.
Analysts state that the pandemic will erode at least a decade of progress made in women’s economic empowerment if deliberate mitigation measures are not instituted. This is where gender lens investing has become pivotal to Africa’s recovery. Women entrepreneurs need lines of credit, bridge financing and other forms of patient capital to help them recover from the impact of the pandemic.
The African Diaspora Network (ADN) and SME.NG – Nigeria’s Impact Investment Platform, are organizing a virtual dialogue to mark International Women’s Month (IWM). The objective of the dialogue is to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic opportunities for African women and to deliberate on how strategic investments in women entrepreneurship can help accelerate the continent’s recovery from the pandemic.
AFAWA Coordinator, African Development Bank
Founder/CEO The Nicnax Company
President and CEO Global Fund for Women
Lagos State Commissioner for women’s affairs and poverty alleviation
Managing Partner SME.NG
Founder & Executive Director, ADN