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By: Selma Taapopi

One out of four female entrepreneurs in the world are African. 
United Nations Commission for Africa chief economist Hanan Morsey says the statistics do not match access to finances. 

Speaking on a panel during the Nala Feminist Collective Summit in Windhoek on Monday, Morsey says African women cannot find jobs and achieve financial independence. 
The panel discussed ‘intersecting social, economic, gender and racial inequalities and how women can achieve financial freedom’. 

Morsey explained that to reduce the cost of access to finance and make it available at scale for African countries, factors such as high interest rates as well as high collateral are deterrents for women in accessing finance:    

“One of the most detrimental issues is the high cost, high interest rate that face women. Second one is the issue of collateral, very high collateral and particularly for women this becomes a deterrent because a lot of time you need to have owned property, land, or certain types of assets that to tend to be in African societies held by women. So, all this prevents from the supply side, in terms of access to finance,” remarked Morsey. 

In addition, Standard Bank Namibia’s Chief Executive Officer, Erwin Tjipuka noted that a lot still needs to be done to ensure an environment that supports access to credit for women, adding that the banking sector has come a long way in creating innovative solutions to try and support women owned businesses:  

Tjipuka further noted that the private sector should also ensure equity and fairness in recruitment policies and employ women in the core functions of organisations amongst others.  

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