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Sona 2020: How Ramaphosa will prioritise women's businesses

"The empowerment of women is critical to inclusive economic growth."

President Cyril Ramaphosa and his wife, Tshepo Motsepe, are seen outside Parliament before delivering his State of the Nation Address on 13 February 2020. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - In his fourth State of the Nation Address on Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted the need for women to be assisted in global business.

To do this, the president introduced the SheTradesZA platform, which he said would assist women-owned businesses to participate in global value chains and markets.

"Over the next five years, the Industrial Development Corporation is targeting R10 billion of own and partner funding for women empowered businesses. To create a larger market for small businesses, we plan to designate 1,000 locally produced products that must be procured from SMMEs," he said.

The president added that women, along with the youth and people living with disabilities, would be prioritised for training and land allocation.

He added that as African Union chair, South Africa would prioritise the economic empowerment of Africa’s women, "working with all member states on measures to promote financial inclusion, preferential procurement and preferential trade arrangements for women".

"The AU Heads of State have pledged their support for measures to end gender-based violence on the continent, and will work towards the adoption of an AU Convention on Violence against Women during the course of this year," the president added.