Global Markets

Ecobank Group signs UN Women’s Empowerment Principles

Ecobank, the pan-African banking group, has officially become a signatory of the Women’s Empowerment Principles by UN Women and the UN Global Compact (WEPs). These principles offer guidance to the private sector on promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace, and community. The CEO of Ecobank Group, Jeremy Awori, made this announcement during a webinar organized by Ecobank Foundation and UN Women in celebration of International Women’s Day.

The webinar, titled “Invest in Women: Why does it matter? How can we accelerate it?”, focused on the importance of investing in women to create inclusive societies. It also discussed strategies to address unconscious biases and discriminatory practices that hinder investments in women.

Jeremy Awori, the CEO of Ecobank Group, emphasized the bank’s commitment to driving gender equality. He highlighted the importance of ensuring that women and girls have equal rights and opportunities to reach their full potential without facing discrimination. Ecobank has implemented various initiatives and solutions, including the Ellevate program, which has received multiple awards. This program caters to the financial and non-financial needs of women-owned businesses. Ecobank will continue to introduce new solutions and remains dedicated to advancing gender equality and inclusion.

The Ellevate program offered by Ecobank provides a comprehensive range of services to women-owned, led, or focused businesses. These services include cash management, borderless payments and collections, banking, funding solutions, as well as skills training and mentoring. Since its launch in November 2020, the program has already onboarded over 73,000 women business customers and provided loans totaling more than US$177 million.

Ecobank has put in place various strategies to promote gender equality and inclusion. These efforts include the establishment of a Diversity and Inclusion Council to foster a discrimination-free environment. Moreover, the bank has endorsed the Women Working for Change Gender Diversity Charter, organized awareness campaigns on gender-based violence for its employees, and introduced mentoring programs and comprehensive learning initiatives to support women’s career advancement. In the near future, Ecobank will launch a program to bring more women-owned and women-led businesses into its procurement network.

Mireille Kamitatu, Deputy Regional Director of UN Women Regional Office for West and Central Africa, commended Ecobank Group, stating: “I am delighted to recognize Ecobank Group’s dedication demonstrated through the endorsement of the WEPs. We applaud the leadership of this Pan-African bank, operating in 35 countries, for taking a significant step towards promoting gender equality throughout the continent. UN Women is prepared to provide assistance in your gender-focused endeavors as we work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”

A number of Ecobank Group’s gender equality initiatives are in line with the seven Women Empowerment Principles, which include:

  1. High-level Corporate Leadership
  2. Treat all Women and Men Fairly at Work without Discrimination
  3. Employee Health, Wellbeing and Safety
  4. Education and Training for Career Advancement
  5. Enterprise Development, Supply Chain and Marketing Practices
  6. Community Initiatives and Advocacy
  7. Measurement and Reporting.

The Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) serve as a key mechanism for companies to advance gender equality in line with the 2030 agenda and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Through participation in the WEPs initiative, the Group CEO of Ecobank has demonstrated the bank’s dedication to these goals at the highest levels of the organization, as well as a commitment to collaborating with various stakeholders to support women’s empowerment. This commitment encompasses initiatives such as ensuring equal pay for equal work, implementing gender-inclusive supply chain practices, and maintaining a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment in the workplace. For further details on the Women’s Empowerment Principles established by UN Women and the UN Global Compact, please refer to

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