THE wife of the former South African President, Mrs. Gracia Machel-Mandella, has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to provide a platform that would fast track easy access of finance to women.
Machel-Madella, who stated this during a courtesy call on the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina in Abuja at the weekend, also tasked commercial banks to review their policies to ensure that women are at managerial level of decision making at the banks.
She lamented that only a few percentage of women in Africa have access to funding, even for their respective micro businesses.
While unfolding plans to host the second African Women Economic summit in Nigeria on July 13 and 14, she said the summit would among others, make top shot women in the financial sector pledge their allegiance to always provide loan facilities to women in the region.
She maintained that no nation could develop without empowering its women, who make up at least 50 per cent of its population
She said, “most of the women have access to finance only at the micro level, usually called the informal sector. The informal sector is dominated by women and they need to move out from being micro, to small, to medium and big entrepreneurs.”
She argued that if the political policies are really bringing women into the centre stage, the that financial institutions should also recognise them as investors, entrepreneurs and give them the necessary support to grow their businesses.