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African and Global Firms Contribute towards Harris’ Empowerment Fund 

Vice President Kamala Harris unveiled a package of efforts — valued at more than $1 billion — designed to mitigate gender inequality in the global digital economy that includes contributions from Microsoft, Pfizer and other major corporate entities. The package — released Wednesday while Harris was in Ghana — contains $528 million in private-sector and philanthropic commitments aimed at advancing women’s economic well-being in Africa. An additional $400 million will be dedicated to furthering women’s participation in the industry. Among the contributors to the overall initiative are the Visa Foundation, MasterCard, HP, Procter & Gamble, Microsoft Corp, and the Pfizer Foundation. The Tony Elumelu Foundation, an African entrepreneurship nonprofit which alone contributed $500 million, as well as Kuramo Capital Management, Vista Bank Group and the African Women Impact Fund Initiative are also participating. The effort also includes $60 million — $10 million of which will come from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — to support programs that provide skills training and access to technology. Half of those resources will be concentrated in Africa, according to a fact sheet from the vice president’s office.