Development - Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday proposed an Affirmative Finance Action for Women as part of efforts to address the issue of women empowerment to improve human security in Africa, PANA reported from here.
The Nigerian leader made the proposal in his speech at a conference, tagged 'Human Security, Peace and Development: An Agenda for the 21st Century', being held in the capital city of Abuja as part of Nigeria's ongoing celebrations of the 100 years of the country's unification.
Stressing the need to empower women across Africa, President Jonathan said: 'When there are wars and social conflicts, women and children bear the brunt of it. So, when we have peace and stability, women and children should be those who benefit the most.'
Explaining how the affirmative finance action will work, he said banks should devote at least thirty percent of their bank lending in Agriculture to women farmers and women-owned agribusinesses.
'The evidence is clear that women rarely default on loans. This purposeful focus on women must become our priority for the post-2015 MDGs. Securing women’s future will secure Africa’s future,' he added.
Also speaking at the conference, French President Francois Hollande said while Africa has a great future, such hopes could be ruined by insecurity.
He pledge his country's assistance for Nigeria in tackling the menace of terrorism as exemplified by the Islamic sect Boko Haram, saying 'your struggle is our struggle.'
'We will always stand ready not only to provide out political support but our help every time you need it,' Hollande said, adding that the struggle against terrorism is also a struggle for democracy/.
He condemned the attacks by the violent Islamic sect Boko Haram, which has recently ramped up its attacks in Borno and Yobe states, despite the massive the massive deployment of troops to the North-east which is worst hit by the insurgency.
The French President particularly condemned Monday night's killing of over 40 students of the Federal Government College in North-east Yobe State.