CBE joins EBRD’s Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative

Daily News Egypt
3 Min Read

In a significant step toward promoting women’s financial inclusion and economic empowerment, Hassan Abdalla, Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), signed the “Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi)” code launched by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on 2 July 2024. This initiative aims to enhance access to finance for women-led micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) while providing essential technical support.

The signing ceremony took place in the presence of Jürgen Rigterink, First Vice President of the EBRD, Matteo Patrone, EBRD’s Vice President for Banking, and senior management officials from the CBE.

Hassan Abdalla commended the launch of We-Fi in Egypt, emphasizing its alignment with the state’s vision for women’s financial inclusion. The CBE’s ongoing efforts have led to significant progress, with the number of financially included women in Egypt reaching 20.3 million—a remarkable growth rate of 244% from 2016 to 2023.

Jürgen Rigterink praised the CBE’s leadership in promoting financial inclusion, particularly in providing finance to women-led micro, small, and medium enterprises. The We-Fi initiative, implemented under the CBE’s guidance, aims to bridge the financing gap between genders in Egypt.

He said: “The Central Bank of Egypt has led the promotion of financial inclusion, especially concerning availing finance to micro, small, and medium enterprises led by women, with EBRD’s commitment to supporting the CBE in this endeavour, through implementing the We-Fi initiative under CBE’s leadership as a multilateral platform to bridge the financing gap between genders in Egypt.”

The We-Fi initiative will not only allocate funding but also provide technical support to strengthen capacities within the Egyptian banking sector, financial service providers, and relevant entities. By developing appropriate financial and non-financial products and services, it aims to achieve gender equality and reduce financing gaps for women entrepreneurs. Notably, We-Fi is a global partnership involving 14 governments, 8 multilateral development banks (MDBs), and other public and private sector stakeholders, hosted by the World Bank Group. The EBRD launched this initiative in three Arab countries: Egypt, Morocco, and Jordan.

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