2X Africa Initiative Launched to Boost Economic Potential of Women

2X Africa Initiative Launched to Boost Economic Potential of Women

Ivanka Trump with workers of Muya Ethiopia

Ivanka Trump, advisor of U.S. President Donald Trump launched the 2X Africa Initiative aimed at economically empowering women in the continent.

The 2X Africa initiative is an offshoot of the broader 2X Women’s Initiative of the U.S. Government’s development finance institution – Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). This is under the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) commitment to empowering women globally by 2025.

It aims to unlock the full economic potential of women in Africa by catalyzing $1 billion, directly investing $350 million, to businesses and funds owned by women, led by women, or providing a good or service that intentionally empowers women on the continent, said the Department of State in a statement.

“For women to succeed as entrepreneurs and job creators we must ensure they have equal access to the financing necessary to start and grow their businesses,” said Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump. “In furtherance of this goal, it is my honor to announce a new landmark initiative within W-GDP, 2X Africa, to directly invest capital into supporting women-owned, women-led, and women-supporting projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

“The launch of 2X Africa underscores OPIC’s recognition of the critical role that women play in tackling Africa’s most pressing development challenges,” said OPIC Acting President and CEO David Bohigian. “By strengthening our focus on the women of Africa, OPIC will foster prosperity and stability in the region, and support the Administration’s important efforts to advance global women’s economic empowerment through W-GDP.”

Further, in a joint communique between the African Union Commission and the United States, they reaffirmed their “Unwavering commitment to advance women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship across the continent by promoting opportunities for women’s participation in the workforce, increasing women’s access to finance, trade, employment, education, and skills development.”

According to the communique, they pledged, “To combat scourges including child and forced marriage, human trafficking, and sexual exploitation and abuse. Both sides further reaffirmed their commitment to shared values such as equality of opportunity, respect, and promotion of women’s rights as well as ending all forms of gender-based violence and abuse in all spheres of life.”

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W-GDP is anchored around three core pillars

First pillar “women prospering in the workforce,” advocates for workforce development, vocational and skills training to increase women’s labor force participation.

The second, “women succeeding as entrepreneurs,” supports expanding access to capital, markets, and networks to help women grow their small businesses.

The third pillar, “women enabled in the economy,” seeks to Remove Restrictive Legal, Regulatory, and Cultural Barriers.