KIGALI, Rwanda, July 20, 2023/ — The African Development Bank has signed on as a partner of the Women Deliver 2023 Conference, a multi-sectoral gathering for advancing gender equality. The conference will debut in Africa, from 17 to 20 July in Kigali, Rwanda.
The Bank has earmarked $300,000 to support the Women Deliver 2023 Conference, which is expected to draw 6,000 in-person participants and 200,000 others online. Women Deliver 2023 brings together leaders from government, grassroots, multilateral organizations, and the private sector, alongside representatives from groups experiencing systematic discrimination.
The theme for this year’s conference is Spaces, Solidarity and Solutions: Enabling inclusive and co-created spaces that fostersolidarity for sustainable solutions on gender equality.
Malado Kaba, Director for Gender, Women, and Civil Society, leads the Bank’s delegation to the conference.
Kaba said: “The African Development Bank firmly believes that investing in women is critical to advancing development goals across Africa and the Global South. We are thrilled to partner with Women Deliver as we showcase programs and policies that we know work and explore new ideas and collaborations to advance gender equality.”
Women Deliver is a leading global advocate that champions gender equality. Its work centers around driving political commitment and financial investment to improve the lives of women and girls worldwide. The organization harnesses evidence-based knowledge products and convenes dialogues that unite diverse voices, drive policy changes, and stimulate financial commitment to gender equality.
As a Visionary Sponsor, the Bank is co-organizing or participating in four Women Deliver 2023 Conference events in Kigali.Aissa Toure, the Bank’s Rwanda Country Manager, said: “It is fitting that this year’s Women Deliver conference is held in Rwanda, a country that has made significant strides toward gender equality in government, development and wider society. The Bank looks forward to engaging with partners, leaders and civil society during this landmark event.”
On Sunday, the Bank co-hosted a luncheon event with the Angaza Forum, in partnership with the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development, and Women in Finance Rwanda. The event focused on Promoting Women’s Leadership in Financial Sector Inclusion and Innovation and featured remarks from Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia and Nobel Prize Laureate.
On Tuesday, the Bank and the African Union presented the plenary Maputo@20: Bridging the Gap Between Policies and People. The plenary spotlighted Africa’s priorities and actions taken to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in Africa in light of the protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, marking its 20th anniversary in 2023. During the session, Director Kaba highlighted how the Bank is working to achieve the objectives of the Maputo Protocol, including ending discrimination against women, improving women’s access to education and training, and advancing women’s economic rights.
Also Tuesday, the Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation hosted a private ministerial roundtable on Accelerating Inclusive Economic Growth by Advancing Women’s Economic Power. The event convened a cross-sectoral group of government ministers, leaders of multilateral institutions, and bilateral and philanthropic donors to discuss how investing in gender equality helps countries deliver on their economic development goals. Alongside contributions from Director Malado and Country Manager Toure, the session also featured remarks from government ministers and recorded remarks from the G20 Sherpas chair Shri Amitabh Kant. Key takeaways from the conversation will form the basis of recommendations shared with the G20.
On 19 July, the Bank and the African Union will co-present the conference’s Africa Session: Scaling Up Innovative Solutions to Enhance Women’s Access to Finance.
Country Manager Toure will speak on a panel focused on bridging access to affordable financial products and services. She will highlight insights from the Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative, which seeks to help close the $42 billion finance gap for the continent’s women entrepreneurs.
Kaba will deliver closing remarks, sharing insights on the role of innovative technology and platforms in unlocking opportunities for women entrepreneurs. She will also highlight the importance of financial regulation and policy for enabling women-owned businesses to thrive.
Also on 19 July, the Bank’s African Leaders for Nutrition initiative will join a global coalition of more than 40 organizations at the launch of the ‘gender nutrition gap’ campaign at Women Deliver. Ghana’s First Lady and African Leaders for Nutrition Champion, Rebecca Naa Okaikor Akufo-Addo, will present the opening remarks at the launch. The campaign aims to tackle the stark nutritional inequalities women and adolescent girls face worldwide. Coordinated by international non-profit FHI Solutions and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the campaign also calls for a data revolution to close the vast data gaps on women’s and girls’ nutrition.
The Bank’s delegation will also participate in bilateral meetings with government ministers and leaders of financial institutions, non-governmental organizations, and philanthropic organizations. The Bank will also provide a platform for African women entrepreneurs who have benefitted from the AFAWA initiative to showcase their businesses in the conference’s exhibition space.
The Bank’s participation at the conference builds on six years of close collaboration with Women Deliver on efforts to advance gender equality. It also aligns with the Bank’s Gender Strategy 2021-2025, which outlines a blueprint for investing in Africa’s women to accelerate inclusive growth.
The public can follow the Bank’s activities at the Women Deliver 2023 Conference by registering for virtual participation here (https://apo-opa.info/3pSrUny).