You are here

Gender Equality

Investing in gender equality for Africa’s transformation

Without gender equality, there can be no development

The Gender Strategy is a central part of the Bank’s ambitious vision for Africa based on the reality that gender equality is integral to Africa’s economic and social development. The vision includes creating opportunities for women, disavantaged and marginalised people and communities so they can participate in and benefit from the development of their communities and nations.

05 Sep 2019

Is the world ready to be gender equal in leadership?

By Anne Valko Celestino, Senior Gender Specialist, and Elisa Desbordes-Cissé, Communication Consultant, at the African Development Bank Today’s world gets ever more integrated and interconnected. Innovative and transformative technologies are fast emerging, economies are expanding, and education and skills are increasing and improving. However, these advances are yet to translate into equal and sustained economic opportunities, political representation and social empowerment for women, who continue to be under-represented in the workforce, and even more so in leadership positions with only...
26 Jun 2019

Using data to close gender gaps and accelerate women’s empowerment in Africa

While Africa’s economic performance is improving, gender gaps must close quickly in order to achieve the structural transformation of each country. Africa’s economic growth reached an estimated 3.5% in 2018 and is projected to rise to 4% in 2019[1]. But its impact has not been inclusive. Structural challenges such as acute poverty, chronic unemployment, poor infrastructure and rising demands for social services must be addressed to ensure sustainability and inclusiveness. Women and youth in rural and fragile areas experience difficulty in accessing basic social needs and economic...
29 May 2019

Women in informal cross-border trade in Sub-Saharan Africa: an untapped potential to feed, integrate and industrialize Africa

Regional integration, a pivotal element of Africa’s transformation agenda, is one of the five key priorities of the African Development Bank. As part of this, regional communities have increased harmonization efforts, including the reduction of customs and tariff barriers. However, there are still a considerable level of non-tariff barriers, affecting activities of traders and the potential for inclusive growth. Despite these challenges, hundreds of thousands of people, largely women, cross borders in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to a study by the United Nations Food and Agriculture...
04 Jan 2018

Addressing gender issues in urban water and sanitation

The African subcontinent has experienced rapid economic growth since 2000. African Development Bank (AfDB) Group demographic projections indicate that Africa’s population will increase from 1 billion in 2010 to 1.6 billion in 2030. The continent’s urban population is expected to increase from 40% of the total population to over 50%, increasing the already high unmet demand for water. The majority of both increases will occur in the poorest, most crowded areas.The sixth United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG6) aims to ‘Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and...
07 Apr 2017

The AfDB’s response to ‘African Women as an Untapped Market for Investments’

Too often the narrative on women in Africa is characterized by oppression and marginalization in a system that tends to work against them. While the case is not untrue, it is important to acknowledge women who are changing this narrative and inverting a whole paradigm. The number of female entrepreneurs entering the business space has been growing rapidly over the past decade. From a steel manufacturing company in South Africa, through intricate clothing designers in Nigeria, to the vast array of cross-border traders in West and East Africa and much more. According to the World Bank, the rate...
23 Feb 2017

Fashionomics Africa: Outlook for 2017

The challenge: Youth employmentThe continent has experienced a high rate of population growth, which has the potential to be a demographic dividend, but only if there is sufficient investment in jobs, skills and education. Africa has a huge problem with unemployment, particularly youth unemployment and the need for jobs are growing faster than ever.Africa has 480 million youth today and that figure is projected to grow to 850 million youth by 2050. Despite the 10 to 13 million youth that enter the workforce each year, only 3 million formal jobs are created annually (in the public and private...
22 Sep 2016

From farmer to chef: Developing the African cuisine value chain

New innovations in the food industry, one of the world’s oldest and largest industries, are creating attractive opportunities on the African continent. With unusual blends of spices and bold flavours, ingredients and techniques from African regions have emerged as the new gastronomic trend in kitchens around the world. As on other continents, the agro-food industry plays a fundamental role in the creation of income and employment opportunities in Africa’s developing economies.A rising gastronomical and entrepreneurial energy is transforming the African scene, with African chefs strongly...
13 Jun 2016

Fashion and textile industries can grow African economies

African culture is on the rise, not just on the continent but across the globe. The life and music of Fela Kuti attracted thousands to the Broadway musical in New York and elsewhere. Nollywood produces more than 1,800 movies per year and has turned into a US $3.3 billion industry, according to the 2015 article by Jake Bright in Fortune Magazine entitled “Meet ‘Nollywood’: The Second largest movie industry in the world”. African movies and music can now be accessed through online platforms across the world. Africa-inspired designs are now regularly shown on the catwalks in fashion shows...
31 May 2016

Pinging not Poking: Making online spaces safer for women in Africa and beyond

This year marks the 60th anniversary for the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), an annual, global forum that takes place in March. The 2016 theme is “Planet 50-50: Step it up for Gender equality” with a call to “Pledge for Parity.” Many pledges connect to Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) 5, which strives for gender equality. Nestled within its target is 5.b, which aims to enhance “the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology (ICT), to promote the empowerment of women.”  Gender parity in technology is a conversation that started during...
25 Apr 2016

Empowering women and girls in the quest for universal energy access for all

Africa has ample energy resources (including fossil fuels and renewables), enough to meet its energy needs, yet the continent struggles to ensure that this bounty reaches its people. Over two thirds of Africans lack  access to modern energy. Sub-Saharan Africa is significantly affected, where just 290 million out of 915 million people have electricity access; and nearly 730 million Africans rely on the traditional use of solid biomass for cooking.Women and girls (especially in rural and peri-urban areas) are mainly responsible for procuring and using cooking fuels. They therefore tend to...