WB supports girls & women empowerment in Africa with $365 Mln funding
The World Bank Board has approved $365 million in International Development Association (IDA) financing to increase girls’ and women’s access to learning, economic opportunities, and utilization of health services, and to strengthen the institutional capacity for gender equality in Western and Central Africa.
The Sub-Saharan Africa Women’s Empowerment and Demographic Dividend Plus project (SWEDD+) has the potential to directly benefit over 2 million vulnerable girls aged between 10 to 19 who are at risk of child marriage, early pregnancy, gender-based violence, and leaving school in Burkina Faso, Chad, Senegal, Gambia, and Togo.
“Empowering adolescent girls and young women is essential to accelerate Africa’s demographic transition, improve human development outcomes, and build human capital and inclusive economic growth,” said Ousmane Diagana, WB Vice-President for Western and Central Africa.
“By investing in women and girls, countries will build resilient communities that can bounce back from crises and adapt to rising threats, such as climate change and fragility,” he stressed.
According to the WB, SWEDD+ will sustain the momentum developed through the original SWEDD project – which covers nine countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger — to expand and deepen the impact on adolescent girls and women.
The newly approved SWEDD+ funding brings the total World Bank investments toward women’s empowerment in Africa to $1.04 billion. It supports African Union Agenda 2063 goals and the World Bank’s poverty reduction efforts.