Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Some 45 kilometres from Lomé, in the village of Aného, a transformative initiative is reshaping the lives of vulnerable women like Adjoa Agbomassi. Following her successful treatment from obstetrical fistula, Adjoa now stands proudly by her vegetable stalls, a testament to the success of the Project to Support the Financial Inclusion of Vulnerable Women in Togo (PAIFFV).

“Before, I struggled to sustain my business. Now, with the project’s support, I’ve expanded my operations, attracting more customers and securing a stable income, thanks to the loan from the Project to Support the Financial Inclusion of Vulnerable Women,” says Adjoa, reflecting on her journey to financial independence.

She points out, “Today, I can pay my children’s school fees, deal with things that crop up in the family, and have no problems repaying my loan.”

Adjoa’s story echoes across Togo, where thousands of women have found solace and empowerment through the PAIFFV initiative. Launched initially in the Maritime and Kara regions and later expanded to the Savanes region in 2022, the project has exceeded expectations, reaching over 13,500 women with 15,251 loans disbursed.

With over $990,248 (around 600 million CFA francs) disbursed to women entrepreneurs, the project has facilitated the creation of 8,072 micro- and small businesses, boasting an average profitability of 26.5 percent. Each enterprise has also helped to generate 1.2 jobs, fostering economic growth and stability within local communities.

Approved by the African Development Bank in 2016, the PAIFFV stands as a cornerstone of Togo’s socioeconomic development agenda, designed to uplift vulnerable groups, particularly disabled women, survivors of trafficking and sexual exploitation, and single mothers.

With a total investment of $2.08 million, the project received $531,024 in funding from the African Development Fund, the African Development Bank Group’s concessional window, and $1.32 million from the Transition Support Facility, the Bank’s instrument targeting countries in fragile and conflict situations. The government of Togo contributed $225,685 in counterpart funding.

The project aims to empower vulnerable women and enhance their role in economic activities by prioritizing small producers, recognizing their indispensable contributions to agro-pastoral production.

Implemented between 2016 and 2022, PAIFFV aligned with the Bank’s strategies, including two of its “High 5” operational priorities, namely “Feed Africa” and “Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa,” and the government’s plans to reduce social disparities.

It has also contributed to combating unemployment, particularly among Togolese women and young people. According to the government, women remain disproportionally affected by humanitarian crises and natural disasters, underscoring the urgency of inclusive interventions.

In partnership with the Togolese government, the African Development Bank continues to champion gender equality and inclusive finance through various projects. These interventions include capacity-building initiatives, rebuilding the markets in Lomé and Kara, agricultural transformation projects and youth employment programmes.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).


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