Barristers & Solicitors
International Women’s Day: AIF Celebrates Transactions that are Women-owned, Women-led, Gender Influenced

In solidarity with International Women’s Day, the African Investment Forum (AIF) is reinforcing its commitment to raise up women as investment champions in the lead up to its virtual boardroom sessions from 15 to 17 March.
This was contained in a statement released by the AIF Senior Director, Chinelo Anohu in Abidjan,  Côte d’ Ivoire, on Monday in commemoration of the 2022 International Women’s Day.
“As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we are reminded of the hurdles that women and women-led businesses face in Africa. At the AIF, we are doubling down on curating deals that are women-owned, women-led and gender influenced”, she stated.
AIF further observed that research showed that women’s economic empowerment had significant macroeconomic impacts, boosting productivity and increasing economic diversification and income equality, yet even with all the available data and proof points, women entrepreneurs were too often over-mentored, but undercapitalised.
The statement added that there was a $42 billion gap between men and female entrepreneurs, according to the African Development Bank studies. 
“In addition, data reveals that businesses run by women in emerging markets, and in particular Africa, receive less than half of the funding made available to their male counterparts, be it venture capital, private equity, or even traditional bank loans. 
“This is despite overwhelming evidence that these businesses deliver greater returns and with lower default rates.
Ii is recalled that in 2019, the AIF launched the “Women as Investment Champions,” an initiative which led to the establishment in 2021 of a standalone pillar for transactions that are not only founded and led by women, but also have a significant gender impact.
AIF’s equally unveiled a 45 projects worth up to $50 billion during its March 2022 Partners Meeting. 
“Of these projects, nine are women-led with a potential value of $5 billion. These deals cut across a variety of Africa’s critical sectors, from a billion-dollar energy project in East Africa to an array of projects focused on health, textiles, and Africa’s emerging creative sector.
“The AIF has prepared Deal Books on these women-led projects going into the boardrooms next week to share with investors and impact funders. They include both projects that require capital and those that are in the pre-development stage,” explained Anohu. 
“I am enthusiastic about these opportunities and investment interests received so far to take these projects to the next phase”, she emphasised.
The statement explained that the projects ranged from an investment value of USD2 million to USD4.5 billion, in sectors such as Textile Printing Processing Plant, tannery Project, an Integrated Telemedicine Platform and a Regional Refinery Project.
Anohu said the AIF was eager to continue supporting women on the continent both at its upcoming virtual boardroom sessions on March 15 to 17 and the 2022 Market Days in November, which would be held in-person in Abidjan, Côte d’ Ivoire.
Championed by the African Development Bank and its partners, the AIF is Africa’s investment marketplace, seeking to close the continent’s investment gaps. It operates as a multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary platform dedicated to advancing projects to bankable stages, raising capital, and accelerating the financial closure of deals. Its strategic vision is to tilt the balance of capital towards the aim of achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Agenda 2063 and the African Development Bank’s AFAWA initiative. Within this mandate is a strong focus on improving African women’s access to financing and capital.

Culled from This Day