5-6 JUNE 2018 / Tour & Taxis / Brussels

Empowering Women in Sustainable Investment and Business through the EIP

Boosting sustainable investment with the EU’s External Investment Plan

High-level panel - Auditorium
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
14:00 to 15:30

The EIP will boost sustainable investments and create decent jobs in Africa and the European Neighbourhood.  How can women best utilise the new opportunities which will be generated by the EIP for economic empowerment and gender equality? How can they access the increased opportunities in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises financing, sustainable agriculture, sustainable energy and connectivity, sustainable cities and digitalisation? You will hear how an ongoing EU blended finance project empowers women; detailed discussions of the specific conditions within several Neighbourhood and African countries and importantly how the EIP can expand and complement traditional assistance in empowering women.

Photographer's Credit Eleni Papoutsi / DG NEAR

Key points

  • The EU’s External Investment Plan (EIP) and other programmes should cover not just economic empowerment through loans, but also through other gender-equality measures.
  • Women in Africa have a huge untapped potential.
  • Banks and other businesses need to overcome their in-built prejudice against women.
  • Programmes aiming to close the gender gap need comprehensive approaches covering education, health, access to finance and social protection.


Panellists examined how the EU’s new development tool, the External Investment Plan (EIP), could help boost sustainable investment and create decent jobs for women in Africa and the European Neighbourhood.

Christian Danielsson, Director General of the European Commission’s DG NEAR (Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations), admitted that the situation was not very positive for women in many of the countries he dealt with, as the wage differentials are substantial and there are not the same opportunities.

World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva pointed out that her institution invested between EUR 60-70 billion in investment projects, and one of the key lessons was that action has to be evidence based. She estimated that there was around US$ 160 trillion left on the table in the world economy as women were unused, underused or underpaid.

Elizabeth Egharevba, Director in Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, said that when governments link u


There are many ways that institutions, agencies and businesses can help unleash female potential in Africa, and it all helps.

Organised by


Luis Tejada
Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID)
Anja Langenbucher
Director Europe and Middle East
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Betsy Nelson
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
Beatriz Perez
Senior Vice President and Chief Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability Officer
The Coca-Cola Company
Peter Sands
Executive Director
The Global Fund, Switzerland
Kristalina Georgieva
The World Bank Group
Dorcas Asige Apoore
Young Leader - Ghana
Neven Mimica
Commissioner for International Cooperation & Development
European Commission
Christian Danielsson
Director General
Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission
Ambroise Fayolle
European Investment Bank (EIB)