Skip to main content

African Development Bank Joins HeForShe Alliance to Accelerate Gender Equality


New York, NY, 31 May 2024 – UN Women is proud to announce the African Development Bank (AfDB) as the latest member of the HeForShe Alliance, with AfDB President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina named as a HeForShe Champion. This partnership represents a significant step forward in the mission to achieve global gender equality.

HeForShe leaders are committed to achieving gender equality in our lifetime, actively working to accelerate progress and change the projected 257-year timeline if current trends continue. Data from the World Economic Forum highlights that over 90% of Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Fortune 500 CEOs are male. UN Women’s HeForShe is combating this disparity by galvanizing millions of activists worldwide and generating over 3 billion conversations on social media annually, mobilizing masses for a gender-equal world. In an era marked by geopolitical conflicts, political polarization, rising inequality, and climate risk, HeForShe is actively working with institutions to pursue sustainable, equitable solutions for the future and the role of international financial institutions is increasingly critical in this respect. The UN Women’s HeForShe Initiative, with its unique ecosystem of partners uniting ambitious leaders from government, corporate, and third sectors, is pushing forward to centralize gender equality principles as a foundation for a sustainable future.

In recognition of the Bank's proven track record of advocating for gender equality in their region and President Adesina's leadership in this area, the AfDB joins the HeForShe Alliance to continue spearheading transformative change toward achieving a gender-equal world. The HeForShe Alliance is a group of institutions and luminary leaders committed to developing and implementing innovative solutions informed by the latest research and proven practices. Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, as a HeForShe Champion, will join other global leaders in inspiring others to pursue transformational change for gender equality.

As part of the partnership, the AfDB has committed to three main commitments aimed at improving the lives of women and girls on the continent. The first is that the African Development Bank will integrate gender considerations into its investment projects and operations. This includes conducting gender assessments to understand the specific challenges women and girls in Africa face, ensuring gender balance among project beneficiaries, and incorporating gender-responsive indicators and targets into project monitoring and evaluation frameworks. These efforts will ensure that women and girls benefit equitably from development projects, leading to improved economic opportunities and social conditions.

The second commitment is that, in collaboration with financial institutions in Regional Member Countries (RMCs), the African Development Bank will promote gender-responsive policies, practices, and institutional cultures. This initiative will involve providing technical assistance, capacity-building support, and other incentives to adopt gender-inclusive strategies. By fostering environments that support women’s participation and leadership, the AfDB aims to create more inclusive financial systems that empower women and girls economically and socially. 

"We are honored to welcome Dr. Akinwumi Adesina as a HeForShe Champion, joining other global leaders in championing transformative change for gender equality through the HeForShe Alliance. President Adesina's personal track record in advocating for gender equality, combined with the African Development Bank’s commitment to accelerating inclusive green growth and driving prosperous and resilient economies, holds tremendous promise for reshaping societal norms in a region that holds great opportunities for progress on gender equality.” – Sima Bahous, Executive Director of UN Women 

The third main commitment is that the African Development Bank is committed to achieving the Economic Dividend for Gender Equality (EDGE) certification, which sets a global standard for gender equality. The commitment involves integrating gender equality and women’s empowerment criteria into project appraisal, approval, and implementation processes. By embedding these considerations into loan conditions, the Bank aims to leverage its financing mechanisms to increase economic opportunities for women and girls in Africa, leading to greater economic independence and improved livelihood.

About HeForShe

HeForShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality initiated by UN Women. Its goal is to engage men and boys as advocates and agents of change for the achievement of gender equality.

About the African Development Bank

The African Development Bank Group is the premier pan-African development institution, promoting economic growth and social progress across the continent. The Bank’s development agenda is delivering the financial and technical support for transformative projects that will significantly reduce poverty through inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

Related Articles