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Logistics Update Africa: Getting past the hurdles to the last mile

While the rest of the world might be focusing on reaching its consumer faster, African ecommerce players must channelize their energies on cracking the last mile challenge. That is, making products available to the consumer everywhere and on-time. With unpredictable timelines, e-commerce retailers in some markets are still struggling to earn the trust of consumers with efficient delivery. And the only way to win in this region is to build a model that leverages this sector for its last-mile delivery, Surya Kannothreports.

Over the past few years, the e-commerce industry in Africa has been on the rise thanks to a handful of online retailers like Jumia and Mall for Africa and a growing middle class. But a big bottleneck is getting the product from the transportation hub to a customer’s doorstep, a term called “last-mile delivery” in the business.

It is estimated that the average international cost to the last mile for any manufacturer works to around 28 percent of the cost of the product. But within Africa, this cost spirals to around 35-55 percent pressured by issues such as weak infrastructure, limited delivery options and poor supply chain analytics.

As ecommerce gains momentum, retailers need to expand their distribution networks, build more fulfillment centres, and leverage more on third-party logistics (3PL) partners. At the same time, online retailers must place greater focus on conveniently locating their fulfillment centres close to their markets to facilitate faster deliveries.

Recounting his experience, Prince Nnamdi Ekeh, founder, Yudala and co-CEO of Nigeria’s composite e-commerce giant Konga said, “When we came into the market, we began working with spare parts and logistics companies in Nigeria. When we started, we faced two main problems – one, was in terms of last mile delivery and the other in terms of payments. It would take almost two weeks for delivery whereas in e-commerce, customers need delivery in 2-5 days. Also, customers only opted for Payment on Delivery which third party logistics companies found difficult to manage. Since other logistics companies were not able to handle deliveries efficiently, we decided to come up with our own logistics platform – K-Xpress.”

Konga then invested N2.9 billion in its logistics arm, K-Xpress to build a world-class delivery solutions company to resolve the logistics challenges in Nigeria’s ecommerce emerging business.

Towards the end of 2018, Konga injected over 43 new vehicles and 100 brand new motorcycles into the system that would work not only for Konga but other third-party logistics companies in Nigeria. The company is looking to add 200 new vans and 1000 motorcycles to the system nationwide. While one aspect of this investment is its intention to work with other credible, hardworking Nigerians as franchises to create jobs for more people, the second part is the company’s determination to guarantee same day delivery anywhere in Nigeria.

While ensuring safe and fast deliveries is one part of the story, Africa needs to boost Internet penetration to grow e-commerce. It also needs to get more of its existing Internet users to trust the online market for making purchases, secure servers, bank accounts, and a clearly marked and mapped address system. Unlike developed markets, such as in the European Union, where 68 percent of Internet users made online purchases in 2017, the corresponding figure in Africa was only 13 percent on average in 2017.

“When you talk about the integration between online and offline, since the internet penetration in Nigeria is quite low, for us to scale up successfully, we need to take advantage of physical stores. And that is two things for us – it would help generate revenue, which is good for investors and also helps us integrate with ecommerce platforms. The most expensive part for ecommerce companies is the last mile. But now, 40 percent of our customers choose pick up from the stores, so we save money on last mile delivery. Now because of the efficient payments and no-so efficient logistics we are now working with other companies in Nigeria,” added Prince.

getting-past-the-hurdles-to-the-last-mileBwala Africa Group, a last mile logistics marketplace launched last year to solve challenges facing fleet owners, rolled out  8 new trucks from ISUZU East Africa, to meet the rising demand for last mile fleet connectivity.

With three major partnerships with Kenya’s top retail stores like Copia, Naivas and Jumia up its sleeve, Bwala Group will power their last mile deliveries. It is also looking to do payment collections through BwalaPay, its ESCROW system. BwalaPay allows customers to pay on delivery and the seller on the other will either get cash when the item is sold / return of the package, if not sold.

BwalaPay service will be extended to classifieds and other online business entities who are dealing with skeptical customers who are not sure if they will lose money through online fraud.

Bwala Africa is also working on crowdsourcing logistics service providers to fleet owners and connect them to auto garages and mechanics around the country. The firm is also working on its on-demand last mile retail logistics section for its B2B and B2C customers in e-commerce and distribution.

Though Bwala Africa is the first logistics platform and marketplace where logistics providers can meet mechanics, buy spares and insurance, the firm is also the first to offer an escrow payment service to its users building trust between the shipper and the receiver during the transaction.

Bwala Africa is currently working on a 12,000 sqm warehouse to consolidate the orders for various retail needs to ease delivery and last mile order fulfilments. The firm also planning to expand into Uganda, Zambia, Ghana, Zimbabwe and South Africa as well as in Asia, Bangladesh, India and Philippines.

While things are on the mend in the rest of Africa, the ecommerce situation in South Africa might be slightly better. But last mile logistics remains a concern in South Africa as well.

“Since we showcase many retailers in South Africa, including the large ones, we have solved most of the problems in South Africa. Last mile logistics is very expensive. We can’t use the post office because it is very inefficient so for ecommerce deliveries it just doesn’t work. Couriers, therefore, fill that gap. But that is obviously expensive. Generally, the user experience is at par with what you see in mid to developed markets. Most of the big retailers in South Africa still struggle to deliver the experience online that they do offline if they are a traditional offline retailer,” observes Kevin Tucker, CEO, PriceCheck.

Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airlines’ managing director Fitsum Abadi impressed upon the need to develop infrastructure in ICT (Information and Communication Technology), connectivity and information along with the development of an integrated multimodal services, where door to door connectivity can be easy.

“Air connectivity is very important but the crucial thing is that we also have to connect it with the land and sea. The information flow needs to be easily accessible to all youngsters and middle-class societies so that they can buy and get whatever they want to buy easily. So, I can see, for drones, for example, or our own investment in Addis Ababa – a big cargo hub with latest technology fitted warehouse or a joint venture with a global leading logistics provider DHL. We have entered into a JV to provide door to door services, integrated from a shipper or production houses to a super market or a consignee. So, this type of set ups or arrangements will facilitate the ecommerce in Africa,” he said.

Alastair Tempest, CEO, Ecommerce Forum of Africa also spoke about the need for infrastructure development in ICT. “Looking beyond South Africa, there is a serious problem with respect to lack of infrastructure for ecommerce. Furthermore, ICT is another area of concern as most parts of Africa have an issue of network coverage.”

Ecommerce readiness indicator
The latest business to consumer (B2C) e-commerce index by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) ranks 151 countries globally, including 44 African nations by measuring their readiness for online shopping. The index is based on four indicators: bank or mobile money account penetration, internet usage, availability of internet servers and the reliability of postal services.

But the report notes a “disparity in core indicators and actual shopping” across Africa. Libya, ranked 13th in Africa for e-commerce readiness, has the highest proportion of online shoppers on the continent among people aged 15 and older. In fact, six of the top ten countries by proportion of online shoppers do not rank among the ten highest ranked countries for readiness in UNCTAD’s report. By sheer volume however, Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya accounted for nearly half of Africa’s estimated 21 million online shoppers in 2017.

“Africa trails behind the rest of the world in its preparedness to engage in and benefit from the digital economy. Three-quarters of the African population have yet to start using the Internet,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said.

“However, the continent is showing progress in key indicators related to B2C e-commerce. Since 2014, sub-Saharan Africa has surpassed world growth on three out of the four indicators used in the index,” he added.

“We estimate that there was at least 21 million online shoppers in Africa last year, less than 2 percent of the world total, with three countries – Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya – accounting for almost half. Nevertheless, the number of African online shoppers has surged annually by 18 percent since 2014, faster than the world average growth rate of 12 percent.”

The top three African countries in the index each has a distinctive strength in one of the four areas measured by the index which not only counts numbers of online shoppers but measures ease of payment and delivery.

While the B2C E-commerce Index correlates with the proportion of online shoppers for the world as a whole, in Africa this relationship is more tenuous as other factors than those captured by the index may be at play.

According to a report by McKinsey Global Institute, the demand for world-class online shopping opportunities is growing exponentially in Africa’s leading economies, as urbanisation and incomes continue to rise.

Despite the growing demand, many US and UK-based retailers do not offer shipping to African countries, owing to the perceived logistical challenges involved such as high last-mile delivery costs and fraud concerns. This perception needs to change as Africa steps up its efforts to make the ecommerce experience more efficient.

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ITU

The Initiative is set to expand in phase 2, applications are open

Women from underserved and marginalized communities made up 65 percent of 80 000 trainees in the first phase of ITU’s Digital Transformation Centres (DTC) Initiative. The Initiative, launched in September 2019, saw the ITU partner with technology conglomerate Cisco in nine countries to help strengthen the digital capacities of their citizens, particularly in underserved communities.

ITU has opened applications for the second phase of its DTC Initiative, aiming to close the persistent gap in digital skills worldwide. Interested eligible institutions can submit their applications by 31 August 2021.

“We want to leverage the momentum we gained in phase one, during which over 80 000 people from underserved and marginalized communities received digital skills training through nine DTCs. The popularity of this training has far exceeded what we anticipated, and greatly encourages us. Clearly, the pandemic has made everyone more aware of the need to be equipped with digital skills. ITU wants to expand the DTC network, but at a pace which will ensure that the quality of training is maintained,” said ITU Secretary-General, Houlin Zhao.

In the first phase, DTCs were established in nine countries in Africa, Americas and Asia Pacific. The individuals who signed up for DTC courses received training in basic and intermediate digital skills.

“Closing the global digital divide is consistent with empowering people and communities, improving lives and livelihoods, and promoting sustainable development,” emphasized the Secretary-General. “Empowering people with essential digital skills is a key part of this – a challenge we are proud to tackle together with partners from the private sector.”

Doreen Bogdan-​Martin, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, said: “The pandemic underlined that digital skills are key to inclusion and leaving no one behind in today’s digital world. The lack of these skills is becoming the main barrier to digital participation, particularly in developing countries. ITU’s network of Digital Transformation Centres plays a crucial role in bridging the digital skills gap and ensuring that no one is left offline. That is why we are expanding the network to increase the number of DTCs globally. We are continuously engaging with new potential partners to collaborate with us in this Initiative.”

Application criteria

The second phase is open to applications from any eligible national institution that commits to being an active partner in the network.

Applying institutions must have the mandate, or the support of their national government, to foster digital capacity in their respective countries, as well as a proven track record in delivering digital skills training at basic and intermediate levels to local communities.
Selected DTCs become part of a global network that aims to accelerate digital uptake among citizens and boost the capacity of young entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to succeed in the digital economy.

Any proposed DTC requires a network of fully equipped physical training centres, along with sufficient resources to deliver digital skills training. Detailed criteria are available here.

The second phase of the DTC Initiative will commence operations from January 2022.

Going forward, more DTCs will be able to join the global network in order to reach a critical mass of people with digital skills training in countries and thus allow them to meaningfully participate in the digital economy.

Further information on how to apply to become a DTC is available here.

Benefits of participation

Institutions that become part of the DTC network will receive free access to training materials developed by ITU, Cisco, HP, and other partners at the global, regional and national levels; access to train-the-trainer programmes under the DTC Initiative; networking opportunities through DTCs worldwide; use of ITU and Cisco branding for promotion and marketing of DTC courses; authorization to award internationally recognized certifications to local citizens; and the chance get access to resources that will allow them to scale their national activities.

The first phase of the Initiative runs from January 2020 to August 2021, with nine DTCs: four in Africa (Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Rwanda, Zambia), two in the Americas (Brazil, Dominican Republic), and three in Asia-Pacific (Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines).

The courses offered are designed both for people who have never used a computer, as well as those with basic digital skills and those looking to enhance their entrepreneurial skills through information and communication technologies (ICTs).

ITU has promoted wider partnerships to support the Initiative with both financial and material resources. In November 2020, the Government of Norway joined the Initiative financially supporting the implementation of training through the DTC network. Going forward, ITU aims to mobilize more partnerships in the second phase of the Initiative, widen the network of DTCs and scale the number of training activities through a systemic engagement with partners both at national and international levels.

More information on partnership opportunities is available here, while interested parties can also write to dtc@itu.int

The Initiative is set to expand in phase 2, applications are open

Women from underserved and marginalized communities made up 65 percent of 80 000 trainees in the first phase of ITU’s Digital Transformation Centres (DTC)...

ITC

Heathertex, a medium-sized clothing company in Egypt, has experienced a loop of challenges and adversity to keep their business open.

Director Alaa Hamdy explains that in March 2020, when the COVID-19 virus hit Egypt, she knew that the impact would not only relate to health and the economy, but that it would also affect women and vulnerable communities socially.

Established in 2018, Heathertex employs around 350 people, 80% of whom are women. “Being a woman myself, I understand women’s needs and the responsibilities they carry on their shoulders. More than ever, our company had to be a strong and reliable employer,” says Hamdy.

She explains that since the COVID outbreak, they have not dismissed or reduced the salary of any of their employees, “on the very opposite, we are planning to build a nursery on our premises, so all mothers have a safe place to leave their child. A small but crucial service that will have a major, positive impact on their personal and professional lives,” Hamdy proudly emphasizes.

Heathertex production comprises knitted and woven wear like scrub tops, bottoms, work uniforms for men, women and children. The company exports 100% of its products, mainly to America as well as to Italy and Greece in Europe. “In our two first years, we have achieved impressive results selling our products to famous international brands,” comments Hamdy. The director argues that despite all the challenges, 2020 was surprisingly a positive year for her company. “We restructured our production and operations to respect all health and safety measures. Our sales increased by 23% during the pandemic,” says Hamdy.

With the support of the International Trade Centre (ITC), the Alexandria-based company has progressed thanks to the initiatives led by the Global and Middle East and North Africa Textiles and Clothing Programme (GTEX/MENATEX).

For Alaa Hamdy, receiving support through the GTEX/MENATEX project made a real difference during COVID-19. She explains that the increase in export is related to reducing the company’s lead-time, a methodology they learned at a training.

“The GTEX/MENATEX project brought insightful ideas and know-how to our company. We are currently implementing the techniques we learned in the Lean Manufacturing and Material Sourcing training courses,” says Hamdy. She also explains that Heathertex will apply environmental management measures designed during the resource efficiency and circular production coaching (RECP), as well as add more sustainable practices in their production.

“We are looking for green solutions in our electricity and water consumptions. In addition, we plan to improve our resource efficiency and enhance our waste management to increase our profitability.”

GTEX/MENATEX in Egpyt

Yasmine Helal, GTEX/MENATEX National Project Coordinator for Egypt, emphasized the dedication of the participating companies and their achievements.

“In 2020, despite the pandemic, many companies were eager to learn and adjust with the new trends and norms. Eleven companies made massive changes to their digital presence following the digital marketing and access-to-market coaching the ITC project provided, including three who developed their online stores,” says Helal.

The national coordinator also highlights that five companies reported improved operations and lead-time. “They increased the efficiency of their operations by 10% to 15%, following the lean manufacturing training. Another five companies reported receiving export orders from new international buyers as a result of the funded participation to virtual exhibitions with others in progress and/or in negotiation phase,” concludes Helal.

GTEX/MENATEX Egypt plans for several activities and training courses including a boot camp on access to finance for textile and clothing companies in July. The two-days event will provide companies the opportunity to improve their knowledge on finance and accounting, as well as acquiring skills and confidence to design and pitch a project to financiers through role play and matchmaking sessions. Following national health authorities’ guidelines, the event is expected to take place in Cairo in a hybrid format.

The Global Textiles and Clothing Programme (GTEX) and the Middle East and North Africa Textiles Programme (MENATEX) are implemented by the International Trade Centre until December 2022. They are co-financed by the Swiss and Swedish governments, respectively.

Heathertex, a medium-sized clothing company in Egypt, has experienced a loop of challenges and adversity to keep their business open.

Director Alaa Hamdy explains that in March 2020, when the COVID-19 virus hit Egypt, she knew...

ECA

New Policies Can Ignite Online Trade, Economic Growth and Inclusion

The UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the GSMA today called on Central Africa’s 11 governments to adopt policies to accelerate e-commerce, including better access to digital services and public-private collaboration.

Mobile internet use in Central Africa more than doubled in the past decade to 42% at the end of 2019. Women and entrepreneurs increasingly use e-commerce platforms to grow their businesses, according to the joint GSMA-ECA report titled “Enabling e-commerce in Central Africa: the role of mobile services and policy implications”. The report makes the potential for economic development and social inclusion clear.

E-commerce is growing quickly in Central Africa and mobile connectivity and payments are key to gaining momentum. By the end of 2020, there were 16 live mobile money services in ECCAS[1], serving nearly 50 million registered accounts.

The report shows that while the retail e-commerce landscape is dominated by global players, such as Amazon, eBay and Alibaba, domestic and regional players are leveraging local knowledge to compete. Jumia, is an example of this and is Africa’s largest e-commerce company with operations in 11 countries across the continent.

Insights from the report outline how social commerce, the use of social networks for e-commerce, is also gaining traction. Facebook’s 14 million users in the sub-region make an attractive marketplace and the preferred platform for many e-commerce entrepreneurs.

Despite this progress, all 11 countries in Central Africa are falling behind when compared to their peers. The infrastructure, investment and skills necessary to fuel online shopping rank in the bottom third of the UN Conference on Trade and Development’s Business-to-Consumer E-commerce Index of 152 countries.

The report makes clear that mobile telecom operators are a vital part of the solution. They provide connectivity for online activities, including e-commerce, enable digital payments and, support e-commerce by way of APIs and sales agents to address challenges in the sector.

“Central Africa is budding with economic potential and e-commerce can accelerate that growth,” said Angela Wamola, the GSMA’s Head of Sub Sahara Africa. “The GSMA is proud to partner with the ECA on this report bringing our knowledge of how digital technologies can propel sustainable development to the work. We hope it will inspire action from policymakers and stakeholders in the region.”

In Central Africa, as many as 264 e-commerce start-ups operate in at least 23 countries. The employment potential is significant with online marketplaces are set to generate 3 million jobs by 2025.

The region can progress quickly if governments enact policies to accelerate digital and e-commerce services, specifically:

  • Enhance digital and financial inclusion
  • Take the right approach to data regulation
  • Address key challenges in the business environment
  • Leverage stakeholder collaboration

“Mobile network operators must play a critical role to accelerate digital inclusion, economic diversification and sustainable development,” said Antonio Pedro, Director of ECA’s Sub-regional Office for Central Africa. “If governments act now, Central Africa can be more competitive and collaborative for the benefit and inclusion of all citizens.”


Please go here to download the report: Enabling e-commerce in Central Africa: the role of mobile services and policy implications.

Watch an explanatory video here: Mobile Services for e-Commerce in Central Africa (new GSMA-ECA report)

New Policies Can Ignite Online Trade, Economic Growth and Inclusion

The UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the GSMA today called on Central Africa’s 11 governments to adopt policies to accelerate e-commerce, including better access...

UNCDF

What is the Generation Equality Forum?

The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was adopted more than 25 years ago, in 1995. Promises had previous been made to close the gender gap. However, previous goals have not been complemented by successful implementation, and women worldwide are still facing discrimination in many fields, ranging from economic participation to public leadership, as reiterated by the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap report 2021.

The Generation Equality Forum (GEF), convened by UN Women and co-hosted by the governments of Mexico and France, represents a unique opportunity to change the status quo. Why? Because of its inclusivity and focus on practical results, financing, and bold commitments.

First, the forum gathers not only international organizations, foundations and governments, but also stakeholders that have often been excluded by international treaties and agendas, such as civil society organizations, the private sector and feminist movements. In the words of Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, “The Generation Equality Forum marks a positive, historic shift in power and perspective. Together we have mobilized across different sectors of society, from south to north, to become a formidable force, ready to open a new chapter in gender equality”.

Second, the goal of the forum is ambitious, yet concrete and achievable: to catalyze collective actions through strong pledges and drive increased investments. How? The Forum is organized into six Action Coalitions (AC), which represent six categories of pivotal issues to be addressed: (1) Gender-based Violence; (2) Economic Justice and Rights; (3) Bodily Autonomy and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights; (4) Feminist Action for Climate Justice; (5) Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality; and (6) Feminist Movements and Leadership. The leaders of the coalitions, after a year of comprehensive negotiations and research, have established a set of actions and tactics that will be implemented in the next 5 years.

The Forum culminated in July in Paris, where the action-oriented agenda proposed by the six ACs was received so favorably that governments, philanthropic organizations, civil society groups, youth organizations and the private sector made commitments worth more than $40 billion to advance the agenda’s operationalization. This pledge demonstrates a major step-change in the path towards women’s empowerment; the lack of dedicated financial resources is commonly recognized as the major reason for slow progress in implementing the Beijing Conference agenda.

UNCDF’s role in and commitments to the Generation Equality Forum

In 2020, UNCDF was chosen as global leader of the Generation Equality Action Coalition on Women’s Economic Justice and Rights (EJR). UNCDF also plays a pivotal role in supporting the work of the Technology and Innovation Action Coalition (T&I). The operational approach of UNCDF is rooted in strengthening local systems, capacities, policies, and institutions to address persistent systemic gender inequalities through technology, innovative forms of financing, technical assistance, and product design. To do so, UNCDF values strong partnerships with international organizations, civil society groups and the private sector organizations, these stakeholders are all members of the GEF. In turn, there is a strong alignment between UNCDF’s mission and the agendas of the EJR and T&I ACs.

As highlighted by UNCDF’s Executive Secretary Preeti Sinha in her remarks provided at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris, UNCDF’s vision is to create Equal Economies by working to achieve two sets of commitments: Gender Finance Gap Zero; and Red Tape Zero. Through the first commitment, Gender Finance Gap Zero, UNCDF pledges to narrow the finance gap that contributes to unequal opportunities for women’s advancement across societies and economies. The second commitment, Red Tape Zero, represents UNCDF’s commitment to address the deep-rooted systemic biases as well as market and agency constraints for women that often serve as literal and figurative “red tape” to inclusion and participation.

Moreover, UNCDF is strengthening its programmatic approach and partnership by joining two collective commitments. First, UNCDF has joined the 2X Collaborative, through which we will promote gender lens investing in emerging markets using innovative blended finance solutions and partnerships with capital providers to develop new financing mechanisms to support women-led and gender responsive SMEs. Second, UNCDF joined the Digital Literacy Equity Outcome Fund in partnership with the Government of Finland, UNICEF, and Volta Capital, through which we will continue our work to advance innovative financing as a means to close the gender digital divide.

How do we move from commitments to action?

UNCDF’s unique mandate to bring public and private sector capital to the world’s least developed countries positions us well to support the blueprints of the EJR and T&I Action Coalitions, as well as several collective commitments. You can find highlights of the areas of focus for both Action Coalitions below the graphic.

Now, as we move towards implementation of the agreed Global Acceleration Plan for Action Coalitions, the most urgent next steps for UNCDF are to effectively and robustly connect our assets – innovative financing mechanisms, financing capability, technical expertise, in country presence – to the work of other partners to help realize the ambitions of the Generation Equality Forum in order to catalyze change and accelerate the closing of the gender gap.

Our work will support partners in the emerging and less developed regions around the world in their ambitions to lift millions of women and men out of extreme poverty. Our actions will specifically contribute to addressing discriminatory practices and reducing gender inequalities by promoting women’s economic empowerment. UNCDF aims to support this work by focusing on the following key priorities:

Gender Gap Finance Zero ( UNCDF will specifically contribute towards actions that will increase the volume of financing available for gender equality commitments in target LDCs.

  • Serve as the United Nations’ flagship financing agency for the LDCs to co-create innovative financing solutions to overcome the barriers to gender equality
  • Leverage UNCDF’s loans, guarantees, grants, blended finance instruments and technical assistance to increase investments in women-led businesses and gender responsive local economic development projects.

 

Red Tape Zero (addressing the deep-rooted systemic biases as well as market and agency constraints for women that often serve as literal and figurative “red tape”)

  • Co-lead of “Reaching Financial Equality for Women” A 10-point Action Plan for Reaching Financial Equality was launched through a partnership between the Better than Cash Alliance, UNCDF, UNSGSA, UN Women, Women’s World Banking, and the World Bank for governments and businesses to rebuild stronger after COVID-19 by prioritizing women’s digital financial inclusion. The associated advocacy campaign featured 20+ CEOs and Ministers committing to one or more of the 10 actions to advance women’s digital financial inclusion.
  • Address gender based discriminatory practices and norms, as well as strengthen economic policies, budgets, plans and governance structures by providing technical support to local partners through the use of the comprehensive training course for local governments on WEE.
  • Utilize toolbox on WEE financing to support a comprehensive bottom-up approach using gender responsive local economic assessments to promote WEE that cuts across policy and regulatory support and local financing solutions. Measure the inclusiveness of digital economies, especially for women in digital economies through the Inclusive Digital Economy Scorecard in 20+ LDCs and addressing the identified market constraints for gender equality with the help of the Inclusive Digital Economy & Gender Playbook
  • Implement with the G7 Partnership for Advancing Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion in Africa, policy and advocacy support to increase women’s digital financial inclusion and women’s leadership in the financial sector in 15+ African countries.

 

Both our Gender Gap Finance Zero and Red Tape Zero commitments will help us make Women Builders of Inclusive Digital Economies in 28 countries as well as build Inclusive Cities by transforming urban areas into spaces of equal opportunities for everyone, especially those who are vulnerable and marginalized.

As Executive Secretary Sinha concluded in her remarks, these commitments will “impact women and their families in the LDCs, allowing them to have equal access, equal agency and equal leadership in their societies and economies.”

What is the Generation Equality Forum?

The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was adopted more than 25 years ago, in 1995. Promises had previous been made to close the gender gap. However,...

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