Ramaphosa urged to oversee female involvement in aviation, ocean economy

The president has heard how women in business are still marginalised in procurement and payments even though they make up 52% of the population.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses a dialogue, convened under the theme 'The Economy is Woman', which is organised by the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa (BWASA) on 29 October 2019. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Women in business have pleaded with President Cyril Ramaphosa to personally take an interest in their involvement in the oceans economy and aviation.

The president has heard how women in business were still marginalised in procurement and payments even though they made up 52% of the population.

Ramaphosa said he met with Microsoft boss Bill Gates and his wife Melinda on Tuesday morning to get a share of their $1 billion earmarked for women empowerment.

“The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is going to deploy $1 billion to empower women around the world and I said I want part of that money here in Africa and make sure that women are well-empowered economically.”

But it’s been argued that venture capitalists said that women-led businesses were still not seen as a viable asset class.

The president said this must change especially in aviation and maritime: “It’s sad to hear that women are not seen as a viable asset class. But your suggestion that development funding institutions to have an allocation for supporting women-led businesses, I would support that.”

He has called on women to go into manufacturing to take advantage of the markets he was opening in the country and around the world.