Earlier this week, as world leaders gathered in New York to discuss collective global growth, the UN’s Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, joined other stakeholders to launch the inaugural Global Africa Business Initiative.
The impact of this event was a $60 million fund dubbed the African Women Impact Fund (AWIF), which will be deployed into various sectors in Africa, and more importantly, will be managed by women.
Much ado about gender?
No. At least not in this case. Records show that of the $69.1 trillion of financial assets under management globally, less than 1.3% are managed by women. Also, only 7% of private equity and venture capital funding is allocated to women-led businesses in emerging markets like Africa.
The consequences of this gap in today’s world are many, leading to prejudices that trickle down to affect funding for women-led businesses and appointments of women into key leadership roles.
AWIF is a breath of fresh air in the world of investments, a step in the inclusivity direction.
How will AWIF benefit Africa?
AWIF will place more African women in control of mega funds, setting the ball rolling for a balanced investment ecosystem on the continent. Also, it will follow a profit-led approach and invest in businesses that can generate returns.
AWIF will also be deployed to score some of the goals outlined by the UN. The SDGs 5 and 8, which target gender equality, decent work, and economic growth are central to the fund’s thesis.