In a three-year $100 million partnership, announced in mid March, the International Finance Corporation (IFC, the World Bank’s private sector arm) and Coca-Cola will work together with female entrepreneurs in Africa and other emerging markets. This partnership will occur under a memorandum of understanding between the IFC’s Banking on Women Program and Coca-Cola’s 5by20 initiative, which aims to bring five million women into the company’s supply chain by 2020. Initially the partnership will focus on Nigeria, with an IFC investment of $22 million in Access Bank to provide loans to “thousands of women who are part of the [Coca-Cola] supply and distribution chain.” Patience Ekeoba of NGO ActionAid Nigeria said: “A major concern with these kinds of projects is that they do not benefit the poorest of the poor”, particularly “women in rural areas or those in urban poor settings”.
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