Benin diva Angélique Kidjo has managed to secure hundreds of millions of dollars funding from the G7 world leaders for female entrepreneurs in Africa.

She was at the summit in the French resort in Biarritz along with the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK when she secured $251m (£226m).

To put that into perspective, the leaders agreed to spend $22m on fighting the fires in the Amazon – something that French President Emmanuel Macron made a priority of the summit.

She spoke at the summit in her capacity as the ambassador for a women’s finance project at the African Development Bank, called Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa.

This fund is all about helping women into business and then helping them grow their businesses.

Africa has the highest percentage of female entrepreneurs in the world, meaning one in four women start or manage their own business, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2016/17 Women’s Report.

Kidjo said the priority is for small-scale entrepreneurs to get access to credit: “My primary focus is women in the rural areas, the women of the market and the women who are not easy to reach out to… Women of the markets don’t trust banks because they are not welcome in any banks.”


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