Women’s empowerment to overcome poverty is the focus of a project in Nigeria

106,000 women are expected to benefit in four northern states of Nigeria through a women’s empowerment program run by the Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) and the Nigerian government. By the end of 2019, some N1.1 billion (about $ 2.8 billion) will be invested in the program, which offers financial aid and training programs for women in underserved regions.

The program, called Dangote Micro-Grant, was launched in 2011 in Kano state. With a budget of N10 billion, it is targeted at indigenous and vulnerable women across the country and is being implemented systematically. The executive governor of each beneficiary state is responsible for a committee to oversee the implementation of the project alongside the Aliko Dangote Foundation.

Beneficiaries receive a one-time donation of N10.000,00 (2.766,00 dollars) in cash to meet immediate domestic consumption and economic needs. In addition, they receive personalized training to reinforce their income-generating activities.

The Aliko Dangote Foundation has already begun identifying eligible beneficiaries for program implementation in the new states that will receive the project, and will aim to actively train in Sokoto, Katsina, Kebbi, and Zamfara. So far, 334,500 women and youth have benefited from the program in the states of Kano, Jigawa, Kogi, Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Lagos, Nasarawa and Niger.

As of 2016, the Foundation has automated the application and payment processes for women served by the program. In addition to the cash donations, the beneficiaries also received cell phones and SIM cards from the Foundation. In the last two states where the program was implemented, there was a partnership with a commercial bank so that they could also open bank accounts.