A New Program Aims to End Africa’s Financial Gender Gap
By Cara Anna
The insect-eaten money fluttered in pieces to the floor. For global music star Angélique Kidjo, that image of her grandmother having to use a closet as a bank is driving her desire to see African women leap the many obstacles to obtaining credit – and respect.
The Benin-born singer, one of Africa’s iconic artists and a collaborator with Philip Glass and others, is the voice of a new project aimed in part at rewriting laws across the continent that prevent millions of women from becoming a more powerful economic force.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Ms. Kidjo described what she has seen over decades of travel in Africa during which women in vibrant marketplaces wished they had the means to do more.
“Why do banks give more loans to men versus women? That’s the question I have,” she said. “Millions of women entrepreneurs in Africa, they lack loans versus the men. Once again, we come back to this patriarchy. And we know men pay less back than women.”
Photo courtesy of Commonwealth Secretariat.